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NMSU's NM EDGE graduates 34 county officials from its County College

SANTA FE, NM - The premier New Mexico Certified Public Manager designation was bestowed upon four public servants at a recent ceremony honoring 34 graduates in the NM EDGE Certified Public Manager and County College programs.

large group of people in different colored shirts with four women in pink seated in front row.
Thirty-four public officials received designations from NM EDGE Count College and Certified Public Manager programs during a ceremony held in Santa Fe in conjunction with the Legislative Conference of the New Mexico Association of Counties. Individuals involved in the ceremony included, seated from left, Judy Pressett, Jann Gartman, Rayetta Trujillo and Kiki Arellano. First row standing are Mary DeLorenzo, Catherine Prather, Grace Gonzalez, Linda Padilla, Marcella Montoya, Stephanie Leger, Pamela Heltner, Christine Tenski, Ana-Lisa Montoya-Torres, Dayna Duran and Sarah Ortiz. Middle row standing are Paul Gutierrez, Robyn Holmes, Michele Jordan, Shannon Capps, Betty Berry, Freda Baca, Bernice Martinez, Stephanie Amaro, Lupe Martinez, Adam Gallegos, Beni Dampier and Barbara Urioste-Lopez. Back row are David Casanova, Jon Boren, Bonnie Brown, Erle Wright, Clarence Buster Willis, Matthew Herrera, Lawrence Equibel, Edward Becenti, Richard Varela, Marc Legarreta and Tasia Young.

> Graduation took place in Santa Fe on Jan. 19 in conjunction with the Legislative Conference of the New Mexico Association of Counties. The NM EDGE also graduated the first New Mexico Certified Treasury Officials, the first New Mexico Certified Geographic Information Service Specialists, and the first New Mexico Certified Jail Specialist.

An additional 14 public employees earned the designation of New Mexico Certified Public Official, while six earned the designation of New Mexico Certified Public Supervisor and six earned the designation of New Mexico Certified County Clerk.

The NM EDGE, which stands for Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the public sector, is a program administered by New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service.

Originally established in 2003 as County College, a mutually beneficial project between the Extension Service and the New Mexico Association of Counties, the program has evolved and expanded into the NM EDGE under the leadership and guidance of Jon Boren, associate dean and director of the Cooperative Extension Service, and Paul Gutierrez, executive director of New Mexico Association of Counties.

"We are proud and happy to see our vision for this program come to fruition with the graduation of our first nationally recognized certified public managers," Boren said following the graduation.

Gutierrez echoed the sentiment and added, "Working together for the betterment of government throughout New Mexico has proved to be beneficial for our county members and for our organization. We are especially proud to be the founding partner with the Extension service in this incredibly valuable program."

The NM EDGE CPM program received national accreditation in October 2011 from the National Certified Public Manager Consortium, enabling the NM EDGE to bestow the designation on qualified candidates.

Graduates represented 17 of the 33 New Mexico counties. Current students in the newly expanded program are from all 33 county governments, several municipalities and various state agencies.

Graduates at the highest level in the CPM program have completed more than 300 hours of work comprised of classes, practical application of knowledge, and a project specifically beneficial to their employer.

The first graduates receiving this highest rank are Rayetta Trujillo, Colfax County clerk; Judy Pressett, Eddy County deed analyst; Jann Gartman, Lea County detention center warden; and Kiki Arellano, San Miguel County human resource supervisor.

Graduating at the second highest designation level, certified public supervisor, were Freda Baca, Colfax County chief deputy clerk; Beni Dampier, Curry County chief deputy clerk; Adam Gallegos, Guadalupe County clerk; Edward Becenti, McKinley County inventory fleet manager for the sheriff's department; Sarah Ortiz, McKinley County chief deputy assessor; and Richard Varela, Santa Fe County election administrative senior specialist.

The certified public official designation, the first level in the CPM program, was awarded to Ana-Lisa Montoya-Torres, Bernalillo County parks project manager; Stephanie Amaro, Chaves County bureau of elections chief; Naomi Maestas, Los Alamos County deputy clerk recorder; Bernice Martinez, McKinley County grant and contract director; Pearl Reed, McKinley County grants monitor; Pamela Heltner, Otero County manager; Christine Tenski, Otero County probate judge; Matthew Herrera, Rio Arriba County detention maintenance supervisor; Francella Montoya, Rio Arriba bureau of elections Tech II; Linda Padilla, Rio Arriba deputy county clerk; Stephanie Leger, San Miguel County first deputy assessor; Dayna Duran, Taos County finance director; Lupe Martinez, Taos County payroll accountant; and Lawrence Esquibel, Valencia County director of information technology.

The NM EDGE County College graduated several people in various customized curricula specifically developed for the County College. These include:

? New Mexico Certified County Clerk designation to Robyn Holmes, Otero County clerk; Freda Baca, Colfax County chief deputy clerk; Bonnie Brown, Rio Arriba County bureau of elections coordinator; Michele L. Jordan, Rio Arriba County bureau of elections chief; Francella Montoya, Rio Arriba County bureau of elections Tech II; and Linda Padilla, Rio Arriba County deputy county clerk.

? New Mexico Certified Treasury Official designation was bestowed upon Grace Gonzalez, Otero County treasurer; Cathe Prather, Otero County chief deputy treasurer who also earned her certification "With Distinction"; and Betty Berry, De Baca County chief deputy treasurer. These are the first recipients of this statewide designation.

? New Mexico Certified Geographic Information Systems Specialist designation was granted to Shannon Capps, Lea County mapper; Clarence Buster Willis, Lea County GIS planning administrator; and Erle Wright, Santa Fe County GIS data integration administrator. These are the first recipients of this statewide designation.

? New Mexico Certified Jail Specialist, the first of a two-part designation, was earned by David Casanova, Roosevelt County detention administrator. Casanova is the first recipient of this statewide designation.

Additional information regarding the NM EDGE certified public manager and County College programs is available at http://nmedge.nmsu.edu