Denise Lalancette Johnston

Denise has 33 years of experience working in public education at the state, district and school levels.  Sixteen of these years were with Santa Fe Public Schools.   She worked at our (then) New Mexico State Department of Education for nine years in various position, which included launching and managing the Federal Goals/New Mexico Education 2000 and Comprehensive School Reform programs, and served as State Director of the Educational Plan for Student Success (E.P.S.S.) process for New Mexico LEAs.  She has worked as a middle school teacher, assistant middle school principal, elementary school principal, director of curriculum and instruction, and associate superintendent - overseeing federal, bilingual multicultural, Indian education, early childhood education, and art and music programs, as well as K-12 curriculum for the district.  During her tenure as a middle school teacher, she was a twelve-month Fulbright Teacher Exchange Ambassador in Liverpool, England.  Throughout her career she has participated in leadership training through the Panasonic Foundation and Fordham University.

Denise spent the 2015-2016 school year working with Espanola Public Schools as their special projects facilitator.  She co-facilitated the development of a district strategic plan, successfully wrote several grants, launched and managed a mentoring program for beginning teachers, and worked with ninth grade teachers to develop a plan for a freshman academy, which was implemented August 2015.  During the 2016-2017 school year, she has managed grants, mentored novice principals, overseen the implementation of the district’s $460,000 Fine Arts Education Grant for elementary school, and other special projects.

Denise attended The University of Vermont and earned both her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from The University of New Mexico. She is active in the Santa Fe community and currently serves on the Family Engagement Committee for the Santa Fe Opera.  Additionally, she is a Master Gardener and serves on the Santa Fe Master Gardeners Association Board of Directors as the organization’s membership director.  

Ms. Denise L. Johnston
Acting Superintendent
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