EdUprising 2024 & the Future of Education in New Mexico

EdUprising 2024 & the Future of Education in New Mexico

By Breezy Gutiérrez | Director, NMPED College and Career Readiness Bureau

Some New Mexicans pose in front of the CASEL sign

Tony Monfiletto, Executive Director of Future Focused Education, facilitates a youth panel at EdUp 2024.

The 2024 EdUprising Conference was a transformative event that brought together educators, policymakers, and community members to discuss the future of education in New Mexico. Held in the vibrant city of Albuquerque, the conference served as a platform for sharing innovative ideas, fostering collaboration, and inspiring action to improve educational outcomes for all students in the state.

Since 2020, the EdUprising Conference has been bringing people together to reimagine the public education system in New Mexico. This year’s conference tagline was: “Where students, educators, and community come together to lead innovation” because it really takes everyone to make the kind of change we're working toward. The keynote speakers were Dr. Arsenio Romero, Secretary for the Public Education Department,  Howie Morales, Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico, and Andrew Hsi, MD, MPH, Pediatric Specialist. The energy in the convention center was contagious, with 60 workshop sessions, over 100 presenters  (including young people), and more than 500 attendees, coming together to learn from each other. 

Some New Mexicans pose in front of the CASEL sign

Students drawing during an interactive EdUprising workshop. 

favorite panels & key Take aways

One of my favorite panels at the conference was the “Achieving Our Graduate Profile Through Industry Aligned Pathways” panel, in which Gallup-McKinley County Schools showcased their innovative approach to designing and implementing comprehensive career pathways aligned to their graduate profile and incorporating core academics, work-based learning, dual credit, and industry partnerships to create high-quality Career Technical Education pathways.

I was impressed and loved their five “Schools Of” opportunities in eight of their high schools where teachers have the same set of students that are in a cohort completing a common Program of Study linked to core content courses. These “schools” included School of Engineering, School of Business, School of Media, School of Health and School of Technology. This district has built over 57 business partnerships to provide internship opportunities for students.

Another favorite panel of mine was the “Transforming High Schools to Create Real Connections and Experiences for Students”, which highlighted the real connections and experiences that rural students participated in through internships aligned with career pathways.

It was inspiring to hear each individual tell their story and elaborate on the experiences that landed them where they are today.

Internships during the school day that work with their schedules and align with their future plans are key to their success and help them understand the relevancy and application of their secondary education.


Audience members listening intently during a panel. 

Implications for Education in New Mexico

The New Mexico EdUprising Conference had several implications for education in the state. One of the key takeaways from the conference was the importance of fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration in education.

It also highlighted the best practices of creative educators who are tailoring their instruction to individual students’ interests and needs. In addition, it provided awareness to new approaches to teaching and learning that will benefit all students.

Another important implication is the recognition of the role of business and community partnerships and how they contribute to student success. The conference emphasized the importance of schools, families, and community organizations working together to close the opportunity gap and provide students with the resources and supports they need to succeed.


Students, educators, and community partners on a work-based learning panel.

Overall, the New Mexico EdUprising Conference was a powerful and inspiring event that showcased the innovative work that is being done in education in New Mexico. The conference served as a resource for models and strategies that great educators and partners are implementing to transform the future of education in the state.

I am filled with hope and optimism for this future of education in New Mexico, knowing there are many dedicated individuals working tirelessly to ensure that all students have access to a high-quality, relevant, and applicable education.


Breezy Gutierrez has been an educator in math, science, health, library media, and physical education, a CTSO advisor, and athletic coach in Santa Rosa Consolidated Schools for 13 years, an administrator in Roswell public schools for 2 years and has been at the NMPED for almost three years now.  She is very passionate about creating and providing opportunities and resources for all students around New Mexico and is very active in her local communities through volunteer work.

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