LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – The leader of New Mexico’s second-largest school district was hit and killed Thursday night while walking her dogs. Friday she was remembered by fellow teachers, students and local leaders as a champion for children.
The Las Cruces Public School District called the sudden death of Superintendent, Karen Trujillo, an unimaginable loss and it will be hard to move forward without her leadership. “She really was a servant of God because she put others before herself,” said Dona Ana County Manager, Fernando Macias.
Trujillo was a Las Cruces native who graduated from New Mexico State University where she worked from 2010 through 2018. She also served as the New Mexico Public Education Secretary for six months before being removed by Governor Lujan Grisham. Trujillo then took the helm of the Las Cruces Public School District in 2019. “I don’t think she felt like she worked a day while she was in this district. It was her passion and you guys need to know. She loved you guys,” said her husband Ben Trujillo.
Her husband also expressed empathy for the driver of the van who hit his wife. “Please pray for him. I can’t imagine living with a burden like that and you know accidents are accidents and they’re not planned for and I think the biggest thing is how we react and how we move forward,” said Ben Trujillo.
Trujillo’s husband says he is working with NMSU to create a scholarship for educators in her name. He asks that in lieu of flowers people donate to that once that information is available.
Las Cruces Police say Trujillo’s two dogs were seriously injured in the crash and taken to a local veterinarian. They say the driver is being cooperative and no charges have been filed as of now.