Rev. Laurie Benavides - President
The Reverend Laurie Benavides is a Deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande assigned to the Episcopal Church in Lincoln County, NM, where she is part of the Clergy Team. Reverend Benavides lives out her central ministry as a deacon by activating the community to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely, and by interpreting to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world. Prior to ordination in 2006, she retired from a 31-year career in public education that included teaching in five different school districts in Texas. In addition to many years of teaching elementary students, she managed a Pregnancy and Parenting program at Weslaco High School, was a balanced literacy facilitator and Reading Recovery Teacher in Georgetown ISD, and a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader in charge of training Reading Recovery Teachers in Midland and Ector County ISDs. She is married to Dr. Roy C. Benavides and they have three grown daughters and two grandchildren.
Rita Combs - Vice President
Rita Combs retired in 2008 after a 32-year career as a Contract Specialist with the Federal Government at Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Illinois. During her career in contracting, she also served as an Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor for a period of seven years. Rita has been a volunteer at Ruidoso's White Mountain Elementary school and believes that all children deserve to live in a comfortable and caring environment. Together, she, and husband Rory Combs, moved to Ruidoso in 2009 and are the owners of Thunder Horse Gallery in Ruidoso. They have two grown children and three grandchildren.
Leon Kranz - Treasurer
Leon Kranz has been married to his wife Nancy since 1962. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Active in St. Eleanor’s parish since 2005, he is a member of the church choir and is a Eucharistic Minister. Kranz earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Wichita State University in 1962, and a Juris Doctor from University of San Diego in 1969. He was a member of the California State Bar Association from 1970 to 2005. An Aerospace manufacturing executive for 42 years, Kranz retired from his President and CEO position from Weber Metals, Inc., Paramount, CA, in 2005, moving from Southern California to Ruidoso. He has a long history of Board of Directors membership, including the following: Chairman, Weber Metals, Inc., Paramount, CA, since 1992; Spencer Theater, Alto, NM since 2015; Alto Lakes Special Zoning District Commissioner since 2014; Lead Director of Ladish, Inc., Milwaukee, WI, from 1997 to 2010; United Way of San Diego; President, Rohr Industries Employees Federal Credit Union, San Diego, CA, from 1974 through 1976.
Beth Rabourn - Corresponding Secretary
I am from Indiana, moving to New Mexico in 1973. We lived in Aztec for 32 years, raising 3 boys. I worked the last 13 years at a Rehab hospital in Farmington, NM. I started a Stroke Support and an Aphasia Support group which is so important for these survivors and caretakers. We moved to Ruidoso to be close to our son and his family. My first job in nursing was Pediatrics and I now work at the schools as a substitute nurse. I love kids and this job has made me very aware of the many students who need so much community support and assistance.
Pam Tomlin - Recording Secretary
Pam Tomlin ran non-profit arts and recreation agencies in Columbia, SC; Des Moines, IA and New York City. She doubled membership at a museum by starting new programs and created a United Way fundraising drive for the arts in Columbia; fulfilled community goals for a Chamber of Commerce and implemented systems to better serve the constituency of a 44 member arts and recreation agency in Des Moines. Working for a mayor of New York City she helped rebuild a flagging film industry before going into business for herself selling residential real estate for 15 years. At the age of 50 she returned to college to finish undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology and mental health counseling before being accepted to a Freudian institute where she studied to become a psychotherapist. She and her husband Dave, who retired in 2011 from a 37-year career with The Associated Press, have 3 adult children. Today they spend time between family homes in Ruidoso, NM and Puerto Vallarta, MX while raising a beloved grandchild. Pam is motivated by the opportunity to make a difference for high school students with the determination to graduate and inspired by the level of citizen leadership in this community.
Dr. Gina Langley - Recording Secretary
Dr. Gina Langley earned a B.S. in veterinary science at Cal Poly State University – you may have met her in the summer, working in the Racetrack Test Barn for her long-ago college professor, Dr. Fly! But she transferred away from pursuit of a veterinarian's diploma when she moved from CA to WA with her Air Force husband, and began teaching high school science instead. The tragic suicide of one of her students soon sent her back to pursuing a doctorate, in school psychology. She began teaching college as a grad student at Arizona State University, and has continued as an adjunct faculty member of numerous colleges, in biology and social science, over the past three decades. (She enjoyed teaching biology and psychology classes at ENMU-Ruidoso for nearly two decades!) She began working as a New Mexico school psychologist and educational diagnostician in 1991, but also served as program director of the Mescalero Apache Early Childhood Program from 1993 through 2010. Although she returned to WA to "retire," she quickly realized that she belongs in the Land of Enchantment, and is happy to have re-started her career here as a school psychologist. She now serves full-time at Ruidoso School District, plus at NMSBVI in Alamogordo, and is an active member of the St. Eleanor Church family.
Judge Angie K. Schneider
Judge Angie K. Schneider was appointed to the Twelfth Judicial District Court Bench in July 2013. Schneider received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with a Minor in History from the University of New Mexico and graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2001.
Prior to being appointed to serve as District Judge, Schneider represented clients in matters of juvenile delinquency, domestic relations, domestic violence, abuse and neglect, criminal defense and local government. Schneider served on the Lincoln County Juvenile Justice Board and the Lincoln County Juvenile Drug Court Advisory Board from 2004 until September 2013. Schneider also served as the JDC Defense attorney for nine years. In 2004, Schneider was a founding board member of Help End Abuse for Life (HEAL). Schneider served seven years on the HEAL Board of Directors.
In 2011, Governor Susana Martinez appointed Schneider to serve on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Commission (JJAC) and she was elected to serve as Vice Chair of JJAC in July 2014. In March 2014, Schneider organized the Otero County Juvenile Justice Board and opened the Otero County Juvenile Drug Court program. In January, 2015, the New Mexico Supreme Court appointed Schneider to serve as Vice Chair of the New Mexico Drug Court Advisory Commission and she was recently selected for the National Stepping Up blue ribbon team on mental health and the justice system. Since 2014 Schneider has served as a lobbyist for the judiciary to support legislation which betters the judiciary in the State of New Mexico. In June 2016, Schneider was appointed by the New Mexico Supreme Court to serve on the Children’s Court Improvement Commission. Schneider joined the High Mountain Youth Project Board of Directors in June, 2016.
Schneider is also the proud mother of daughter Julia Claire who studies political science, history and dance at the University of New Mexico and plans to attend law school.
In 1984 Luisa Rodriguez graduated from Ysleta High School in El Paso, Texas. Following, her graduation she got married a year later had her son Victor and began working for a local grocery company for fourteen years. In 2001 Luisa enrolled at Park University in Fort Bliss, TX to attain her Bachelor’s degree , she graduated in 2005 with her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in Administration.
In 2005 she got a job in Ruidoso NM with the Center Of Protective Environment (COPE, INC) a domestic violence agency as a victim advocate. She was promoted to a domestic violence specialist where she did individual and group life skills sessions.
In 2012, Luisa enrolled at the Highlands University in New Mexico; in 2015 she obtained her Master’s degree in Clinical Social work.
The State of New Mexico issued Luisa Rodriguez the School Social Worker License on July 1, 2015.
The State of New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Board of Social Work Examiners issued her the NM state license on June 9th, 2016.
Currently Luisa is employed with the Ruidoso Municipal School district as the school social worker at Ruidoso High School. Among other responsibilities her duties are to work with the general student population and their families when there is a need such as financial hardship, need for food, transportation, school supplies, clothing, and emotional support. In the three years that she has been with the high school, she has secured a grant from the Road Runner Food Bank that supplies a food pantry. She created and now manages school the Natural Helpers program.
She secured a washer and dryer from the Ministerial Alliance for students.
Mary Reeve has worked in education and children’s services for over 40 years. She has a Master’s of Education degree from West Texas A&M University. Most of her career was as a teacher and school administrator. Additionally, Mary worked for a large residential service provider as a licensed child care administrator in Texas. Mary has two grown children and three grandchildren. She and her husband Randy moved to Ruidoso in 2013.