David Briseno has worn many hats in the 26 years he’s worked for the Clovis Municipal Schools system, some at the same time.
And he’s good at it, according to Matthew Trujillo, principal of Highland Elementary School.
“He’s good with kids and a great motivator,” Trujillo said.
Briseno, executive director of community relations for the schools, is retiring next month.
Trujillo knew Briseno in college when the two attended Eastern New Mexico University, and was principal at La Casita Elementary School when Briseno was teaching there.
Trujillo said that beyond a connection with the students, Briseno was an innovative thinker.
“Whenever the technology came to us, he knew it. He had innovative ideas. He’d have an idea, he’d think about it and then make it happen. He was a proactive thinker. He thought about how to make things better for students and families,” he said.
In each of the positions he’s held, Briseno has started new programs. From a mariachi guitar class to a family services program to an inclusion program, he continually looked for innovative strategies to improve the systems around him.
Even though he’s seen as an innovator, Briseno said he entered the education system almost by accident.
“I started college at New Mexico State University and majored in electrical engineering. I found out quick that that was not my passion,” Briseno said.
After a disappointing start to his college career, Briseno went home to Artesia for a year and held several jobs.
“The last job I had, I worked with young kids and I really liked it. I thought, ‘This is the way to go,” he said.
He returned to college at ENMU and majored in elementary education and bilingual education.
“It was a whole different world,” he said.
In his career as an educator, Briseno served as teacher, principal and administrator. But Briseno said that moving from a school to the central office was the biggest change he made.
“It was difficult to be away from the kids. Even as a principal, you have daily interaction with the students,” he said.
Briseno had the opportunity to watch his four children grow up in the Clovis schools system.
“It was different than other parents. I was right there to watch over them,” he said. “They didn’t like it so much. I loved it.”