Phil Lucero

Athletic Director

Phil Lucero, a Santa Fe native, has an extensive background working with youth in experiential settings. His career began at UNM as a high ropes course facilitator with the Journeys in Excellence program. It was there, while in graduate school for environmental education, that he found his calling and began to seek employment in experiential and outdoor education. In 2004, he was hired as an instructor for the North Carolina Outward Bound Program. There he led multi-week bike-packing expeditions in the Pisgah National Forest outside Brevard, NC. This ultimately led to his work with the Calgary based organization, Two Wheel View. For five years, Phil led international bicycle expeditions as the lead instructor for their annual trip to northern Argentina.

Upon returning to Santa Fe, Phil followed a more traditional path in education. He spent eight years working as a program coordinator for Santa Fe Public Schools running a district wide youth leadership program called The Student Wellness Action Team (or SWAT). The program is a prevention-based program that addresses issues including drug and alcohol abuse, DWI, suicide, bullying, depression and a range of issues identified by students as problematic in their schools. Under his purview, the program grew from 40 students in four schools to 220 students in 13 schools.  Phil developed a close relationship with SFPS administrators, teachers, support staff of students while in this role. Most recently, Phil served as the Dean of Students and Athletic Director at Nina Otero Community School. It was there that he gained valuable experience in school leadership and athletic program management. Phil’s passion has always been in positive youth development. He prides himself on his ability to create a dynamic school culture that provides students a safe, engaging and challenging place to call their home away from home.

When not at work, you’ll usually find Phil playing with his kids outside or roaming the New Mexico wilderness on his mountain bike.

Email: plucero@desertacademy.org
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