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Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales, raised in Silver City, New Mexico, has spent his whole life working to improve the lives of people in his community and across our state.
Howie went home to teach students in special education in the Silver City and Cobre School Districts, and became active in the community. He coached local high school baseball teams to state championships, and is one of the longest serving volunteers of Big Brothers/Big Sisters in New Mexico, while raising two children ages 6 and 9. Howie earned the trust of his neighbors and was elected Grant County Clerk, where he modernized voting systems to make sure every vote counted.
Since 2008, Howie has been an aggressive leader for children and classrooms in the State Senate, fighting for his district, and to make every corner of New Mexico a better place to live. He has pushed for progressive policies such as universal health care. He fought for rural and tribal economic development, and he fought to protect veterans’ and senior services across the state, and mental health programs.
Howie Morales served in the New Mexico Legislature on the Legislative Finance Committee for 11 years. A classroom teacher and proven leader who stands up for seniors and public education, he said “No more cuts to New Mexico’s classrooms.” Howie Morales has fought to protect our most vulnerable communities and local schools, to build a fair economy that works for all of us, and to move New Mexico forward.
He learned the value of a dollar at a young age. His father was a Vietnam Veteran who worked in the copper mine while his mother worked multiple hourly-wage jobs. He went to work as a teenager to help provide for the family and later worked as a shoe salesman and maintenance worker to put himself through Western New Mexico University. The first in his family to go to college, Howie went on to earn a PhD in education from NMSU.
In 2018, Howie Morales was elected Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico. Soon after taking office in January, 2019, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham asked Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales to take charge of the State Public Education Department (PED). He did that until a permanent Secretary later could be named, Dr. Karen Trujillo. During that period, Howie Morales joined the Governor in calling for a historic $500 million budget investment in public school classrooms, part of the Governor’s “Education Moonshot”.
In the past, PED saw itself as a policeman of schools. Lt. Governor Morales pushed for a lasting culture shift at PED, to ensure that from now on, the agency which oversees more than 850 public schools will serve those schools and teachers in a spirit of collaboration and cooperation; lifting up schools that struggle, not shutting them down. The Governor issued her first two executive orders during that time, eliminating future use of the PARCC standardized test in New Mexico classrooms.