Despite describing herself as not being a good student and later finding out she has Dyslexia which made high school and college challenging, Jennifer Viramontes, Gadsden ISD Trustee and Board Secretary, has excelled beyond her dreams. Now she can add induction in the New Mexico School Board Association's Hall of Fame as part of accomplishments in education.
She will be recognized along with three other New Mexico school board members at the NMSBA Annual Convention Awards luncheon Dec. 2 in Albuquerque, N. M. The Hall of Fame Award recognizes Mrs. Viramontes's service as a Gadsden ISD school board member and as a leading member of the New Mexico School Board Association.
"If you ask me if I would ever be on a school board when I was in school, I would have laughed at you. I was not always a good student. I later learned that I was dyslexic but had sports to keep me motivated.," wrote Viramontes in her nomination to the Hall of Fame.
Attending school in Minnesota, Viramontes enrolled in Eastern Michigan University and later served as U. S. Army Military Police officer from 1982-85.
She began her career as a GISD Board member when she was appointed to a vacant board position in 2005. She serves in District 2 and has held the position of Board President in 2009-11 and Vice President in 2007.
"Once I had kids, I became very involved in their education, helping at the school wherever I could. At Santa Teresa Elementary, I started the PTO and assisted in that school being named a Blue Ribbon School by the U. S. Department of Education.," added Ms. Viramontes.
She was NMSBA Board Member of the Year in 2012, served on NMSBA Committees which included the NMSBA Advisory Board, Resolutions, Nominations, Board of Directors and NMAA Commission Representative. In NMSBA regional activities, she was Region VII secretary in 2006 and President from 2009-2012.
Her other NMSBA positions she has held include Secretary Treasurer 2010, Vice President in 2011, President Elect and President 2011-2013 and Past President in 2014. Viramontes has also held several positions in the National School Board Association.
She was instrumental in the creation and promotion of New Mexico Public Schools Campaign “I Am New Mexico Public Schools" an effort to promote the positive accomplished of public schools in the state.
She is also active in the local USTA and serves as executive director/office manager for the Greater El Paso Tennis Association.
'Who knew that I love learning," added Viramontes. She is married to Ramon Viramontes and has three sons, Dominick, Dimitri and Damian.