More information can be found at the AFT-NM/MCFUSE Web Site.
Button, Button....Who's Got the Button?
Educators throughout Gallup-McKinley County School District (GMCS) will soon be voicing their disdain for Baldrige/Systems/Shipley (as perpetrated by Central Office) by showing their support for teaching and GMCS students with buttons that read "Just Let Us Teach." 

The button idea began at Gallup High School and was featured on the front page of  the Thursday, October 5, 2006 Gallup Independent.

Since the article, requests for buttons have been non-stop, and additional buttons are currently being made for distribution throughout GMCS.

Principals With Principles
Much thanks and appreciation is extended by the Gallup High School staff to Gallup High Principal Mike Butkovich and Assistant Principal Teri Cron who stood up for GHS students and staff against the perpetration of the "Stus" Approach to Systems both at school and in Central Office.


Former School Supe to be Welcomed into Union
The McKinley County Federation of United School Employees (MCFUSE) will officially welcome former Gallup-McKinley County School (GMCS) Assistant Superintendent Ethel Manuelito to membership at its next meeting on October 14, 2006.  A Mexican buffet is to follow.

Ethel Manuelito has been appointed as the MCFUSE COPE Chair as well as Co-chair for Membership.  

New MCFUSE Rep. on Local Labor Board
Congratulations and Mazel Tov to Dale Petty who has recently been named to represent the McKinley County Federation of United School Employees (MCFUSE) on the Gallup-McKinley Local Labor Relations Board !

Excellence in Administration Awards
  • MCFUSE's 1st Annual President's Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Administration has been awarded to Gallup High School's Principals Mike Butkovich, Gary Schuster, Ken Williams, and Teri Cron.
  • Congratulations on a job well-done!  Your hard work, common sense, professionalism, and integrity have not gone unnoticed and are very much appreciated.  
GMCS Nurses and Counselors on Three-Tiered Salary Schedule
  • Gallup-McKinley County School District has joined the ranks of those few Districts that have unilaterally placed Nurses and Counselors on the Three-Tiered Licensure Salary Schedule.
  • This was done to keep these positions filled with quality professionals.
  • Much credit goes to Theresa Mariano and Personnel for calculating data and presenting it to the Superintendent.
Gallup High School Student is Presidential Scholar
  • Congratulations to Eric Smith of Gallup High School who is one of only three Presidential Scholars in New Mexico. 
  • After hearing his bio, you can be assured that it is well-deserved!
Teachers Equally Recognized as Nominees for Teacher of the Month
  • Four Teachers were "equally recognized" as nominees by the District at the Gallup-McKinley County School Board Meeting on May 15, 2006; as, sadly, none met the criteria to be proclaimed "Teacher of the Month."
  • We were able to make a huge impact on legislators last year because our members began meeting with their own legislators, writing them early, and testifying at interim committee hearings together.

                       (Click on title for results.)

  • GMCS Board Member J.R. Thompson was the only Board member to vote against a one-year extension to Supt. White’s contract which still had two years remaining.

  • Management Associates, Inc. has 10 days to appeal a decision handed down recently against the Gadsden School District.  This decision, if upheld, would have far-reaching implications for those Locals which had contracts with their Districts when the CB Law sunset under Governor Gary Johnson. These Locals, which are called incumbants or Exclusive Representatives in Section 24B of the Public Employee Bargaining Act (PEBA), include MCFUSE in Gallup.

  • The decision mandates that:

    • districts must begin to negotiate with these Locals--even if there is no contract;

    • dues deductions must be bargained;

    • a card count determines representation for incumbents--an election is not necessary; and

    • the impact of instructional and professional decisions by the employer is a mandatory subject of bargaining.

  • On Saturday, December 17, 2005, Supt. Karen White interrupted her holiday and dinner with friends to get assistance out to a county employee whose teacherage had been without water for 3 days! 

A loud and resounding “thank you” to all those involved in the production of the Gallup High School Veterans Day Program in the Ken Halloway Auditorium on November 10, 2005:

  • Mr. Gary Schuster

  • GHS JROTC Color Guard

  • Melissa Argo

  • Col. Layton Dunbar

  • GHS Concert Choir

  • Rico Perales

  • GHS Wind Ensemble

  • Mr. Mike Butkovich

A job well-done!

  • On Wednesday, November 2, 2005, in the Bernalillo County Court House, District Court Judge Clay Campbell ruled against GMCS’s attorney Dina Holcomb of Management Associates, Inc..

  • Holcomb’s Appeal and Request for Reconsideration to have MCFUSE complaints against GMCS heard by the Local Labor Board had been DENIED by the Public Employee Labor Relations Board (PELRB or State Labor Board).

  • In response, Holcomb requested a Writ of Mandamus in District Court AGAINST THE STATE LABOR BOARD.

  • The NM Attorney General appointed an attorney to represent the State Labor Board, and AFT-NM intervened to be included in the hearing.

  • The Judge’s ruling was that the request for Writ of Mandamus did not meet the procedural regulations according to statute.  The Writ was quashed.

  • The AG’s Office and Holcomb now have 10 days to agree to the final wording of the Order to Quash the Writ.

  • GMCS Supe Karen White and other District Reps were also present at this hearing.



  • AFT-NM attorneys have filed an Intervention on behalf of Gallup and Gadsden Locals to be included in the State Court Hearing brought by Dina Holcomb of Management Associates, Inc. against the State Labor Board (PELRB) on behalf of GMCS.

    • The Office of the Attorney General has appointed an attorney to represent the PELRB.

  • Congrats, Bien Hecho, and Mazel Tov to AFT-NM and NM AFL-CIO President Christine Trujillo for her recent appointments as At-Large Delegate for Democratic Convention by AFT President McElroy and Regional Representative for National Federation by AFL-CIO President Sweeney.

  • Kudos to ex-teacher Stewart Byous for his excellent Writer’s Block piece Left Behind? in the Thursday, September 22, Gallup Independent!

  • Congratulations to Gallup High Social Studies teacher Carrie Ames. Carrie was named the New Mexico Walmart teacher of the year! You rock!

  • Congratulations, mazel tov, and welcome back to W.K. for the successful conclusion of a year-long journey.  “No hay mal que por bien no venga.”

  • MCFUSE has been informed that the husband of Dina E. Holcomb, of Management Associates, Inc., is a member of the Firefighters Union.  Congratulations!

  • Congratulations to Jeanine Russell, Bob Gearhart, Allison Dollar, and Brian Bernard , newly elected MCFUSE officers.

  • Congratulations to Jennifer Brown, Navajo Mid Librarian, for receiving the 2005 Outstanding School Library Award for Secondary Schools.

  • Congratulations to Ravis Henry, Second Vice-President of the New Mexico Association of Student Councils.

  • Congratulations to Mavis Price for her selection as Outstanding New Mexico Woman. "It chik."

  • Congratulations to the Teacher of the Month Jeremy Hale.

  • Congratulations to Liz Caravaca for receiving PNM/Home Depot grants for classroom innovation.

  • Congratulations to Mr. Haskie on his well-received Sponge Bob Square Pants Award. 

  • Congratulations to Mary Beth Buffalo of Central High School for her selection as Teacher of the Month.

  • Congratulations to Mavis Price for being elected Secretary of Region I.  “It chik”

  • GMCS Board has increased the maximum number of initial days covered by the  Sick Leave Bank from 45 days to 60 days which is consistent with Family and Medical Leave Policy and guidelines.

  • Congratulations to the Teacher of the Month for March: Elizabeth Kayete of Tohatchi Middle School!

  • Congratulations to Gallup High Social Studies teacher Carrie Ames for being named Walmart Teacher of the Year!

  • Congratulations to J.R. Thompson and Joe De La O for their successful campaigns for the GMCS School Board.

  • Congratulations to Harry Mendoza in the City Council election. We urge all our union brothers and sisters to remember Harry in the runoff election later this month!

  • Governor Bill Richardson plans to create a Commission on Accountability and Governance. MCFUSE was of the same mind when the MCFUSE Accountability Committee was created. “Great minds think alike.”

  • GMCS Board member J.R. Thompson voted against giving the GMCS Superintendent an extra year on a contract that has two years remaining. An excellent business decision for taxpayers!

  • Much thanks to the MCFUSE teacher who recovered parts taken from a city school’s intercom system In these days of increasing violence in our schools, a non-working intercom system puts students and employees at risk.

  • Congratulations to the Teacher of the Month Nominees!!!

    • April Forman, Redrock Elem.

    • Melody Pearson, Tohatchi Elem.

    • Mary Cullin, Lincoln Elem.

    • Wesley Yurkovich, Gallup Mid.

    • Dan Wenning, Roosevelt Elem.

    • Sheila Morrison, Tohatchi Mid.

  • Congratulations to J.R. Thompson for retaining his seat on the GMCS School Board!

  • Congratulations to Joe De La O for defeating incumbent Bill Bright in a bid for the District #4 seat on the GMCS School Board!

  • Congratulations to all the nominees for January's Teacher of the Month:
                Spencer Murphey-----------------Jefferson Elem.
                Dora Sumny-------------------------Redrock Elem.
                Verna Escudero--------------------Redrock Elem.
                Wendy MacPherson Sklenar---Redrock Elem.
                Lisa Blanco--------------------------Roosevelt Elem.
                Cindy Wagemann-----------------Thoreau Elem.
                Aaron McRaith---------------------Tohatchi Elem.
  • Congratulations to the Teacher of the Month for January: Aaron McRaith!!! 

  • Kudos to Mary Reeve of EDC:  When asked by Mr. Bright at the December 20th GMCS
    Board meeting if she was satisfied with her position of authority, Mary Reeve responded by speaking very favorably of the Principals and staff at school sites and stating that "we do not need a hierarchy, just collaboration.

  • Thanks to GMCS Board member J.R. Thompson who spoke in favor of calm and peaceful discussion between GMCS and MCFUSE while voting to postpone a resolution to create a Local Labor Board.

  • The Gallup-McKinley County Schools are sponsoring the New Mexico Council International Reading Association and Regional Indigenous Bilingual Education Coalition 2005 State Conference. The Conference is January 13-15, 2005 at Gallup High School.

  • We wish to thank Barry Butler of Butler’s Office and Equipment Supply, and Steve Coleman, of Nugget Gallery, for approaching GMCS about the Teacher of the Month Award. It is indeed a special feeling to be appreciated by one’s own community. On behalf of all teachers, we thank you.

  • Bravo to GMCS Board member JR Thompson for his stand against the status quo in favor of Native American student learning and achievement.

  • The NMPED Restructuring Team visiting GMCS recently interviewed staff about the District’s relations with the teachers' association.

  • A booklet for Think New Mexico by Mr. Fred Nathan, Executive Director, recommended that school districts cap Superintendents' salaries to save money. He suggested that the cap be three times the salary of a beginning teacher. (The Superintendent of GMCS is one of four educational administrators listed in a chart of salaries higher than that of the Governor of the state of New Mexico and the New Mexico Secretary of Education.)

  • MCFUSE President Brian Bernard has accepted an appointment to the New Mexico Governor’s Council of Teachers. Any teacher with a legitimate issue or concern can send an email to Mr. Bernard.

  • Congratulations to Nancy Marensek for being 1 of 5 finalists for New Mexico Teacher of the Year!

  • A job well done to Supt. White and Central Office for dealing with an alleged embezzler of district/student funds.

  • Much appreciation goes out to all the Principals in GMCS who allowed appropriate access to the school in the true spirit of the Collective Bargaining Law during the recent MCFUSE membership blitz.

  • Thanks to Supt. White who honored us with her presence at Quaking Aspen for a BBQ in appreciation of AFT organizing efforts. 

  • After uniting in a grassroots effort to improve treatment of stakeholders and teaching/learning conditions; parents, staff, students, and the community of Navajo, NM will get a new Principal at Navajo Elementary. Congratulations and Mazel tov!!!
  • GMCS District will use a grant of $2.1 million to initiate a program to combat alcohol abuse. This program targets Native American students and utilizes/incorporates Native American traditions and culture.
  • GMCS District received $997,552 from the U.S. Department of Education. This Teaching American History Grant focuses on American Indian history and will be used to send 75 K-8 GMCS teachers over three years on 3-week trips to Washington DC for history and education classes at American University as well as other resources.

  • The GMCS School Board for the first time has developed and Evaluation Rubric for the Superintendent. In the past, Superintendent Evaluations have always been arbitrary and subjective.

  • The GMCS Board and Central Office are attempting to downsize the bureaucracy of the 3-tiered licensure. The point of contention is the dossier.

  • For the first time, GMCS has been able to award scholarships to each of the district's high schools.

  • GMCS 2004-05 budget was prepared with the 2% salary increase for all public school personnel being kept in mind.

  • Congratulations to GMCS Board President J. R. Thompson and Roosevelt Elementary Principal Rich Ferguson who, along with 12 middle and high school age students, will be presented with Great Spirit Awards by the Navajo Institute for Social Justice, Inc.. Awards are to be presented at a banquet in September, 2004.

  • GMCS and the Navajo Nation have signed an agreement of cooperation that aims to integrate more Navajo culture for students and staff. See Gallup Independent article.


  • GMCS Board President Thompson is running for the position of State Senator...currently held by Sen. Rainaldi.

  • Ms. Verna Escudero successfully completed the requirements and is recipient of National Board Certification.

  • GMCS District may pay for TESOL and Bilingual classes.

  • Representatives of the GHS Student Council appeared before the Board on March 15 to request that the district pay for Advanced Placement Exams. Board members, administrators, and several others remarked on the excellence of their presentation as well as the utilization of proper procedures/process.

  • Supt. White suggests that the District look into paying for AP Exams that students "pass" as an incentive.

  • Congratulation to Thoreau Mid student Brenna Cob for her victory in the Regional Spelling Bee.

  • Congratulations to Mrs. Debra Moya of Onate for recieving the Golden Apple Award.

  • Tohatchi Middle School is one of 6 school sites in the state to benefit from Gov. Richardson's 7th Grade Laptop Initiative. TMS will received 115 Dell Inspiron laptops for their students and staff. Congratulations! Gallup Independent News Article

  • Mr. Richard Fourzan has replaced Mr. Lesher as Principal of Tohatchi High School. We congratulate Mr. Fourzan. He is sure to fill the position with the same high standards of professionalism he maintained as Assist. Principal of Gallup High. Bien hecho!

  • Washington Elementary School has a new Parent Information and Resource Center for use by the parents of Washington Elementary students. Parent Centers are also located at Crownpoint Elementary, Gallup Jr. High, David Skeet Elementary, and Ońate.