"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer."
John F. Kennedy
Sheryl Williams Stapleton is the Floor Leader and is from the island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. She came to New York as a young girl with her family seeking better educational opportunities for their children. She attended school in New York through high school and went on to attend New Mexico State University for her undergraduate studies. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1978 and completed her Masters Degree in Multicultural Education in 1987.
Her love for education continued as she earned another advanced degree as an Education Administrator in 1990 and doctoral degree at the University of New Mexico in Educational Leadership. As a practicing educator, Sheryl has been a teacher at Zia and Wilson Middle Schools in the Albuquerque Public Schools district, an Assistant Principal at the Career Enrichment Center, Coordinator of the Schools to Careers program, and now the APS Carl Perkins Project Director and Coordinator of Career and Technical Education. She holds a K-12 New Mexico teaching credential with endorsements in Social Studies and Bi-lingual Education and a Level III K-12 Administrative License, a Professional K-12 Specialty Area License, a Level 111B PreK-12 Administrative License, a Level 111 Instructional Leader License, and a PreK-12 Specialty Area License.
Sheryl's life-long career as an educator has directly identifies her as a champion for public schools, teachers, and their students. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of all students—particularly minority students and students who face the many challenges brought on by poverty.
“I have fought hard for children and young people. The measure of success is not just a score on a test, but it is measured by how we as adults encourage them to succeed” Sheryl Williams Stapleton
She brings this same commitment to others in District 19, working to improve their lives by supporting additional programs that provide better access to health care, improve public safety, help working families, promote small business, assist seniors and people with disabilities by giving them a voice in their communities and the state.
Sheryl has always believed that the role of an educator and public servant is to help others—her professional and political career are shining examples of this ethic and she is a state legislator who truly understands that her job is to represent those who have placed their trust in her.
“As a young girl coming from the Caribbean, I have always been impressed by the JFK quote; ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, it’s what you can do for your country’. I believe that we should ask not what people can do for you, but what you can do for the people. Sheryl Williams Stapleton
Since her election in 1995, her dedication to the community and her state are impressive. She has served as both the Vice Chair and Chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party and has been the Vice President of the Association of State Democratic Chair. She was chosen as an Elector to the Electoral College attending the Democratic National Convention six times as a delegate including twice as a delegate for President Clinton, once each for Al Gore and John Kerry, and most recently for President Obama. Sheryl has been a member of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators for twenty years, where she continues to serve and was one of the first chosen in our state to provide leadership to the Office to Support Obama in New Mexico. She currently sits on the national Democratic Committee.
Currently she has serves as a Commissioner for the Education Commission of the States and is a member of the Education Committee of the National Council of State Legislators as well as a representative on the Transportation Committee of the Council of State Governments.
At home in New Mexico, she has served for twenty years as the Representative for District 19 and serves on the Education, Labor and Human Resources, and Rules and Order of Business legislative committees. During the interim between legislative sessions, Sheryl is an advisory member of the following committees; Legislative Education Study, Courts, Corrections and Justice, and the New Mexico Finance Authority. She is also a member of the Minimum Wage Subcommittee.
She was a founding member of the Southeast Heights Gang Intervention Prevention Task Force and a founding member of the Charlie Morrissey Scholarship Committee. She is a member of the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials., Mexican American National Women’s Organization, the National Council of Negro Women, the and former President of the Duke City Business and Professional Women’s organization. She organized the Democratic Party Senior Citizens and Youth Task Force, and has been a member of the National Association for Bilingual Education.
“Some people are concerned about being important, we can all be important, but we cannot all serve the public. I have chosen to be a public servant rather than be important” Sheryl Williams Stapleton
Sheryl has received numerous awards and has been recognized for her dedication and service in her community, the state, and nationally. These awards include:
Who’s Who in Women of the World
Who’s Who in Black America
Honored Respected Women in New Mexico
Living Legend Award African Methodist Episcopal Church
2008 Legislator of the Year Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
Hispanics Advancing Via Education Award
Reform and Services to Women and Children Award
North American Indian Women Association
Order of the Eastern Star Award- Prince Hall Grand Chapter
Omega Psi Phi Citizen of the Year Award
NAACP Footprints Award