Doña Ana County




            At the behest of Doña Ana County Commission Chairwoman Isabella Solis, Doña Ana County launched its Freshman of the Month program in late August of 2017. For the first time since the program launched, the county has received no new nominations.

            Three students from the Gadsden Independent School District were honored in October, November and December of 2017. They were Janet Mendoza of Alta Vista Early College High School, Nathan Speelman of Santa Teresa High School and Stephanie Cano of Gadsden High School, respectively.

            At the onset of the program, Solis sent letters to the superintendents of the Las Cruces, Gadsden and Hatch schools superintendents inviting each to participate in the student-recognition program.

            The three superintendents were each invited to identify an outstanding ninth grader each month for public recognition at one of the regular meetings of the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners.

            In addition, each student’s photo and biographical information are printed on a vinyl banner that is displayed in the rotunda of the Doña Ana County Government Center for a month.

            Solis said she continues to believe it’s important to get young people engaged with government, and one way to do that is to show them that they matter in a public way in a hall of governance.

            Each of the superintendents was invited to “submit the name, photo, a brief bio and the clubs/group affiliations of one of your outstanding ninth graders each month,” adding that the Doña Ana County Special Projects Office has a form available to make the nomination process easy and fast.

            “We’re hopeful the nominations will resume shortly, and that all three school districts will continue to recognize the value of this kind of program and will participate each month,” Solis said.

     Teachers or administrators wishing to obtain nomination forms, along with nominating instructions, can do so by sending an email request to


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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.