Richard A. Perea
Mr. Perea is a native of Santa Rosa, New Mexico, and graduated from Santa Rosa High School (SRHS) in 1985. Mr. Perea is a proud U.S. Veteran. He attended the New Mexico Military Institute after high school and continued on to join the United States Air Force, being honorably discharged in 1990.
After serving his country, he pursued his degree in education from New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU), where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Minor in Secondary Education. While teaching and coaching at SRHS, he earned his Master of Arts in Education Administration also from NMHU. He began his educational leadership career as a Vice Principal at Moriarty High School, followed by a Mid/High Principalship at Jemez Mountain Schools. He then returned to Santa Rosa to be the High School Principal. After nine years of principal positions, he became Superintendent of Santa Rosa Consolidated Schools.
Mr. Perea has been involved in education for twenty-seven years. His goal in education has always been to help New Mexico students. He has a strong foundation in teaching history, bilingual education, curriculum and instruction, along with finance and budget. He strongly believes that “the best teachers are those who take on underachieving students and turn them into high-achievers.”
Mr. Perea was raised in a Spanish-speaking family and is the youngest of eleven (eight sisters and two brothers). He has been married to his wife Julia for twenty-five years, has two sons, a daughter and two granddaughters.
Favorite quote: “La Educación no cambia al mundo, cambia a las personas que van a cambiar el mundo.” -Paulo Freire-
Dean of Instruction
Michael Rudd’s introduction to the South Valley came a few decades ago at almost the same time he was introduced to adobe, helping his uncle and friends build a casita in a beautiful strip of land below Rio Bravo. He instantly fell in love with New Mexico and stayed for twelve years, writing in the mornings, playing music in the evenings, and working as a teaching assistant and a baker among other jobs until he finally began his career as an ELA teacher at Albuquerque High School.
Now, he returns to Albuquerque after more than twenty years as an educator and soccer coach in Massachusetts and New Jersey. His many experiences from pre-school to college have only served to remind him that he chose the path that is closest to his heart, and he can’t imagine doing anything else. When he’s not at school, he writes, plays music when he can, reads, hikes, and keeps soccer in his life one way or another. He returns with his wife, Genelle, who grew up in Albuquerque, and, by extension, his three adult children.
Dean of Students
In addition, Mr. Gonzalez also had the opportunity early in his career to collaborate with the team from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education School Redesign Network (SRN) to bring innovation and reform to Albuquerque Public Schools’ High Schools. He has also shared best practices within the field of Project Based Learning to a national audience at the Deeper Learning Conference hosted by High Tech High in San Diego.
When Mr. Gonzalez is not at South Valley Academy, he enjoys fly fishing, skiing, hiking, camping, and sailing, and when visiting his native San Diego, he loves to surf and eat fish tacos. During the winter, Mr. Gonzalez serves with the National Ski Patrol at Sandia Peak where he is an Outdoor Emergency Care expert and instructor/trainer for the Sandia Peak Ski Patrol. He is also a BLS CPR and First Aid instructor with the American Red Cross and the National Ski Patrol. Mr. Gonzalez also serves as a ski Instructor at Sandia Peak when time permits. Recently, Mr Gonzalez was given an open invitation to serve as a crew member in the prestigious Round the Word Clipper Sailing Race out of Gosport, United Kingdom. He is determined to undertake this great global challenge when the right time permits.
Director of Finance and Operations
Heidi Gomez is an Albuquerque native and a South Valley Academy alumna from our school’s first graduating class of 2004. Ms. Gomez holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master of Business Administration in Accounting and Information Assurance from the University of New Mexico. She has over 10 years of accounting experience and has been with our school since 2014. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family in the great outdoors!