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Member Collaboration

The New Mexico Regional Educational Cooperatives (NMRECA) is proud to collaborate with all ten of our members. The impact we have on a continual daily basis is impressive and in many ways influenced by our diverse backgrounds, respective educational experiences, and relationships. This is easily seen when you look at Dr. James Abreu from REC 4 in Las Vegas, NM. Perhaps more significant is his belief statement: Any child can succeed if given the opportunity. “Education – The Key to Success.” REC #4 supports and partners with all New Mexico Educators in their commitment to providing an excellent education for our children.


  • PhD - 1991 The University of New Mexico: Major in Recreation Administration, Minor Emphasis in Educational Administration
  • MA - 1978 New Mexico Highlands University (May 1978): Physical Education and Health K–12
  • MA - 1978 New Mexico Highlands University (June 1978): Education Administration
  • BA - 1975 New Mexico Highlands University: Major in Health andPhysical Education, K–12, Minor in English, Minor in Secondary Education
  • High School – West Las Vegas
  • Teaching licenses: Education Administration, K-12; Health and Physical Education, K–12 English – Secondary.


  • Executive Director, Northeast Regional Education Cooperative (REC #4) July 2010 to Present
  • Superintendent: West Las Vegas Public Schools - May 2007 to June 2010 (Three years, two months)
  • Bilingual Director: West Las Vegas Public Schools – Oct. 2006 to June 2010 (Three years, nine months)
  • Associate Dean of Education: Highlands University - January 2006 to October 2006 (Ten months)
  • Outreach Coordinator for Distance Education: New Mexico Highlands University November 2004 to January 2006 (One year, three months)

Education Work Experience

  • Dean- School of Education: Highlands University - June 1994 to June 2003 (Nine years, one month)
  • Faculty Member: New Mexico Highlands University - July 1977 to June 2003 (26 years)
  • Department Chair – Human Performance, Leisure and Sport: New Mexico Highlands University - May 1992 to June 1994 (Two years, two months)
  • High School English Teacher: Taos Schools - August 1975 to June 1977 (one year, 11 months)
  • Executive Director of the Northeast Regional Education Cooperative (REC #4) since 2010
  • Started Teaching in 1975. Have approximately 44 years’ experience in Education in New Mexico.


Ernest Beaubien Abreu was in education 35 years from 1955 to 1990. He was a coach, teacher, principal, and superintendent. He worked at West Las Vegas, St. Michael’s in Santa Fe, Mora, and Wagon Mound. He retired in 1990 after 5 years as REC #4 Executive Director. Uncle - Edward Leland Abreu was in education for 30 years from 1958 to 1988 as a coach and teacher. He worked in Grants, Taos, West Las Vegas, and Penasco. 

Sharing Books in Lincoln County - Sierra Blanca Book Share Project (SBBSP)

The beginning of the Sierra Blanca Book Share Project (SBBSP) started with a single response from one young girl when asked, “What books do you read at home with your family?” Her heartbreaking response is something many educators around the country have heard. 

“We don’t have books at home.” 

She left school that day with three new books in her backpack to start her own library at home. She picked the ones with the princesses and puppies on the covers. They made her smile. They were her very own books.

Although there is a great deal of supportive research explaining how literature-rich homes and time spent reading together with children can help improve children’s academic success and overall communication skills; these are not the only driving factors for educators to get books into the hands of children and families as soon as they can.

Each person reading this has a moment they can think back to when they explored their favorite book, pouring over the pictures as someone read it to them or as they toiled over the words themselves that gave them a direct connection to the characters and stories. It can be as little as a mention of a character name or a phrase that instantly carries you into a magical world or adventure of your childhood where all the wild things live.

This is what we want to give. We want to share this relationship we can have with words and books. It is a special and cherished thing. And it is a whole lot of fun. It is also one of the best ways to help a young child and young learner go farther and it is as simple as giving a child a book.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King

In 2015, working with libraries, literacy organizations, and individuals to get donations of books, Sierra Blanca Books Share Project started looking for ways to get books into the hands of children that needed them. We partnered with the Food 4 Kids program and Three Rivers Foundation here in Lincoln County to start placing books into backpacks whenever possible to get books home to children and families.

In 2016, with support from The Hubbard Foundation, The Community Fund of Lincoln County, Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, and a great deal of guidance from community members we also became the affiliate for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Through the Lincoln County Imagination Library, each month, we are able to get free books to children from birth up to five years of age. There are similar affiliations set up in a majority of the counties across New Mexico.

This is available to children in Lincoln County when their parents or guardians mail in a form found in a growing number of places throughout the county or online at the Imagination Library page.

In 2018, SBBSP began encouraging young readers in elementary school and middle school by helping sponsor local Battle of the Books teams in the Ruidoso area. New Mexico Battle of the Books is a competition held each year that encourages students to read a list of books and test their comprehension and knowledge with teams from all over the state. Reading and meeting as a team have helped encouraged both advanced and emerging readers alike. The teams have grown each year and we hope to encourage more teams in other schools throughout the area to participate.

The Book Share Project started as a way to simply get some books to children who had none. We have found, along the way, a wonderfully supportive and positive community around us in Lincoln County. We look forward to partnering with more of that community as we continue to wish for a simple thing for the children of Lincoln County; a book of their own to be read by a friend over and over again.

“Access to books and the encouragement of the habit of reading: these two things are the first and most necessary steps in education and librarians, teachers, and parents all over the country know it. It is our children’s right and it is also our best hope and their best hope for the future.” -Michael Morpurgor

Thank you for letting me tell you the story of our little project. Please encourage any family to sign up their young child for a free book from Lincoln County Imagination Library and as always, read on.

If you would like more information about our projects please visit us at the Sierra Blanca Book Share Project website. You can also reach us via email.

The direct link to the Lincoln County Imagination Library registration is found on the Imagination Library website.

For information about New Mexico Battle of the Books please visit New Mexico Battle of the Books website.

By Tim Lewis, Sierra Blanca Book Share Project