Renee Salazar-Garcia will be the principal of Santa Fe High School, incoming district Superintendent Hilario “Larry” Chavez announced Thursday.

Salazar-Garcia is set to lead the district’s largest school starting July 1, following the promotion of current Santa Fe High School Principal Carl Marano to assistant superintendent for K-8 school support.

The announcement came two days after Chavez revealed his Cabinet picks for the 2021-22 school year, which include four principals, including Marano.

Principals Kathy Pack Casaus of Acequia Madre Elementary School and Michael Hagele of Early College Opportunities High School will take on assistant superintendent roles, while Marc Ducharme of Nava Elementary School will succeed Chavez as the district’s athletics and activities director.

Salazar-Garcia has worked in Santa Fe Public Schools since 2018, first serving as Santa Fe High’s assistant principal of special education before becoming the school’s 11th grade associate principal.

She has four degrees from the University of New Mexico, including a master’s in special education specializing in children with learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.



Before joining Santa Fe Public Schools, Salazar-Garcia was executive director of Laguna schools in west-central New Mexico after 29 years as a principal in Albuquerque Public Schools.

“I came to Santa Fe because I really missed working directly with students,” Salazar-Garcia said in a statement. “The community drew me here, and I’m delighted to continue my service as principal.”

Along with the reshuffling of district employees, outgoing Superintendent Veronica García announced Wood Gormley Elementary School Principal Laura Jeffery will retire at the end of the school year.

Jeffery has led Wood Gormley since 2017. Before that, she was principal of the now-defunct Capshaw Middle School.

Site committees at Wood Gormley, Acequia Madre and Nava elementary schools as well as Early College Opportunities High School are expected to make principal recommendations in the coming weeks.

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