Message From Superintendent Daniel P. Benavidez

Keshi, and welcome to all ZPSD Employees,

    On behalf of the Zuni Board of Education, I welcome each of you "Halona:wa Idiwan’a” to Zuni Public Schools.  My name is Daniel P. Benavidez, Superintendent of Zuni Public Schools, and this is my fourth year in this wonderful place.  I am excited to start the school year, as I hope you are ready to return.  We have spent the past three years focusing on one important goal:  Support for the students of Zuni!  This will continue and with a few changes, it will be even better for them.  Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I list some of the items that are tangible which we have been working on for our wonderful students.

  1. We worked with NM legislature and Governor Lujan-Grisham to secure funding ($2.8 million) to relieve our some of our teacherage debt.  This will allow us to free up operational money and allow us to put back into the classroom. Moreover, there is another pot of money (amount TBD in August) for the district to use for other student support mentioned below.  Your Zuni School Board of Education, Senators Sanchez and Munoz, Representative Alcon, the Zuni Governor and Tribal Council were very instrumental in supporting this cause. 

  2. The debt relief allowed us to purchase Interactive Panels (IPs) for every classroom.  This allowed teachers to use them with their students and replace the old SmartBoards.  We also are upgrading our internet connectivity and other needs that have been on hold due to operational constraints of the past.

  3. We have purchased an additional activity bus with USB ports, racks, and individual lights for our student athletes.  We will be buying another activity bus to further support all students when they leave the area for any activity away from Zuni.

  4. In September, we will be finishing the baseball field to appropriate detail that will be the envy of other schools.  Concurrently, we will start and finish the Softball/Little League field that too will be the envy of other schools. We also will have a refurbished concession stand at the football field, as well as, other smaller projects for our students’ benefit. 

  5. More important than our projects is the staff the district has put together for teacher quality for student learning.  I am very (as well as the site administrators) excited to see staff members wanting to give quality and not just quantity to our students.  The standards that they will set will benefit our students.

  6. For all employees, the district increased salaries to ensure we are supporting staff financially.

      We will work together and stay positive. We will communicate and share.  We will use our strengths to overcome our weaknesses.  We will ensure that our students meet the highest expectations we set for them.  Our students are sharp, are brilliant, and really want to be challenged. We will prepare them for the challenges that they will encounter in our global community.   Lastly, essential information about orientation, your employment with the district, and A:shiwi core values are forthcoming in the next few days.  In the meantime, I look forward to supporting you. Thank you for choosing to be a part of ZPSD, and thank you for making education a priority.  To those of you who are new, as I once was, welcome to the Zuni Public School District.  



Daniel P. Benavidez, Superintendent 

Zuni Public School District

Daniel P. Benavidez


Mr. Benavidez comes to Zuni Public School District (ZPSD) from Tierra Encantada Charter School in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he served the Director for almost six years.


Prior to being the charter school's director, he worked for New Mexico Public Education Department in Santa Fe where he was an Education Administrator for the Title I unit for nearly seven years.


Before jumping into administration, Mr. Benavidez was a history teacher and coach at Pecos Middle School for five and half years. His own athletic experiences allowed him lead students as interim head girl’s basketball coach, boys' and girls’ middle school cross-country and track coach, and middle school boys’ basketball coach. Mr. Benavidez attended the University of New Mexico where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Education and Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership.  


Mr. Benavidez also served his country by enlisting in the United States Army for active duty. During the Persian Gulf War Mr. Benavidez was a Military Policeman.  Fundamentally, Mr. Benavidez believes that every student is entitled to an excellent free public education. He has been married to his wife Alicia for over 20 years and has two teenage boys that will be attending the Zuni Public School District.

Superintendent's Office

Daniel P. Benavidez



Burt Awelagte

Executive Assistant

10 Sandy Springs Road

PO Drawer A

Zuni, NM 87327

Ph: (505) 782-5511

Fx: (505) 782-5505


Monday - Friday

8:00 am - 5:00 pm