My name is John Gurule and I am a fifth generation resident of Pena Blanca in District 2 of the Bernalillo Public School District. My family and I have strong roots in BPS as both students, educators and employees of BPS. Beginning with my great-grandparents as custodial staﬀ, grandmother as an educational assistant, my mother as an administrator and teacher and now myself as a board member. My wife and I are raising our son in our community and he has begun his education like many family members before him at Cochiti Elementary School. My interest in serving as your representative and voice within BPS stems from a desire to improve culturally relevant education for our students and to provide a platform for students to grow and achieve their goals and dreams they have set for themselves.
My education began at Cochiti Elementary School and attended some summers at Santo Domingo Elementary and Middle School. Attending school in these schools allowed me to experience the many benefits and challenges associated with smaller community based schools. I also attended Bernalillo Middle School for a short time. After completion of elementary and middle school, I attended both Bernalillo High School and the Santa Fe Waldorf School for a period of time. I recognized that neither public nor private high school was for me. I then completed my GED and decided to begin exploring career options. I received technical/vocational training through the Santa Fe Community College in Emergency Medical Services and completed both my Emergency Medical Technician and eventually Paramedic training. Obtaining these certificates allowed me to begin my career with various fire departments and EMS agencies. After over a decade working with many EMS and Fire Departments, I returned to college in an online platform through Eastern New Mexico University and completed my Associates in EMS. After completing my AAS degree, I enrolled at the University of New Mexico and completed my Bachelors of Science degree in Emergency Medical Services and Chemistry. In summer of 2021 I was accepted to the University of New Mexico School of Medicine program to complete my Doctorate in Medicine and will graduate in2025 with plans to pursue a career as an Emergency Medicine Physician.
During my career as a Paramedic/Firefighter I was fortunate enough to promote into various supervisory roles in many of the communities that I worked for. I worked and volunteered for several agencies including Cochiti, Pena Blanca and Sandoval County Fire Department, Albuquerque Ambulance, and Jemez Pueblo EMS. This allowed me to personally witness the challenges and beauty of each of our communities in BPS. I have served as the Fire Chief of the Pena Blanca and Cochiti Fire Department and most recently for Santo Domingo as their Interim Chief during a period of transition in 2020 and 2021. This experience allowed me to interact with various forms of government ranging from small local governments, tribal governments, county government, state government and federal government. This role also required that I become proficient in budgeting and financial management as well as grant writing and management. I also developed my skills in conflict resolution, human resources matters, and leadership. Most importantly, during this time, I experienced the generosity, kindness and friendship of many of the families that I now have the privilege of representing.
In 2015 I began my career as adjunct faculty with the University of New Mexico School of Medicine Emergency Medical Services Academy. This experience allowed me to experience some of the many challenges that our educators and students face in the learning environment. In 2019 I was elected to the Pena Blanca Water and Sanitation District as the Board of Directors President. This launched my career into public policy development and stewardship of the community’s tax dollars and natural resources. I have also become familiar with parliamentary procedures and representing constituents who have entrusted me to have their best interest at the forefront of all votes I engage in while developing policy.
Combined, my unique ties to the community, public service experience, management and leadership and unique educational path have provided me with the experiences and skills to be a servant leader and voice for the constituents of BPS. I am honored and humbled by the confidence and trust the community has placed in me to protect and improve the education and life skills that our children receive from the talented staﬀ at Bernalillo Public Schools. My phone is always on and my dedication to hearing your perspectives is always a priority.