Dana Sanders has served as the superintendent of Los Lunas Schools since 2014. She holds a M.A. in Education, with an Emphasis in Teaching from the University of New Mexico (1987), and a B.S. in Education, Elementary Education, with a minor in Health, also from the University of New Mexico (1986).
Ms. Sanders began her career as a teacher in some of the most diverse socio-economic schools in both the Los Lunas School District and surrounding school districts. Ms. Sanders has served in various building administrative capacities at the elementary, intermediate and middle school levels. She was responsible for district-wide personnel, athletics, safety and security, as well as leadership development while in her central office positions.
Ms. Sanders’ broad experience throughout her thirty-one year career in education has given her the tools needed to be the first female to lead the State’s ninth largest school district, and Valencia County’s largest employer. Her love and commitment to the students, staff, and community as a whole, is apparent in all aspects of her leadership. The District’s motto ‘Every student matters. Every moment counts.’ is more than a phrase; it is the foundation of every initiative in the District.
Building relationships and accountability are key components to the District’s success. Ms. Sanders has worked through site and District PLCs to ensure continuity and articulation between the various levels. She is currently leading the fifteen schools toward certification utilizing the high reliability schools (HRS) framework created by Marzano Research. Using a research-based five-level hierarchy, along with leading and lagging indicators, educators have learned to assess, monitor, and confirm the effectiveness of their schools. Under her leadership, there has been significant improvement in student achievement on statewide assessments, student safety, and early childhood education.
Ms. Sanders believes that in order to be truly effective, it is important to engage and work with surrounding entities and organizations. To that end, she and her Cabinet each sit on various community and professional boards. Ms. Sanders serves on the New Mexico Activities Association Board of Directors, is a strong member of the New Mexico Superintendents Association, and now serves on the board for Mission: Graduate for the United Way of Central New Mexico.
Ms. Sanders is a true product of Valencia County. She was born and raised there, and married her high school sweetheart. They have two daughters, and four grandchildren to whom they are devoted. She is proud that they are all products of public schools, and is committed to ensuring the success of all students.