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    Dr. Jim Hattabaugh 

    Dr. Jim Hattabaugh

    Message From the Superintendent

    Hello Everyone!

    My name is Jim Hattabaugh, I am the 7th child of 9 of Omie and Albert Hattabaugh. My mother came from a family of eleven! My wife and I have four children, two girls and 2 boys. The youngest will graduate from college this spring. His brother will graduate from law school in the spring. Our youngest daughter started her residency as an M.D. of OBGYN and our oldest daughter has a master’s degree in crop and soil sciences and lives in Tennessee. My wife teaches special needs children here in Fort Smith, AR.

    I have a doctorate in Educational Leadership and have held just about every position in schools, from superintendent to bus driver! I have higher education experience as a professor at three different universities but my passion lies in public education and I thank the Board for this opportunity in Dulce!

    One of the things that attracted me to this position and community is the strong belief and practice of family within your culture. Being from a large and extended family, I appreciate how important families are to the development of our young ones.

    As you have experienced since March, our world has turned upside down in many ways. We are constantly bombarded with contradicting information from many sources so it becomes a challenge to know whom to believe.

    Schools have a long history of providing safe places for our families and structure for our society. What we have been asked to do over the past few months is to change how we have done things for centuries, not an easy task!

    As I have asked my colleagues at Dulce School District to practice being positive, proactive, and patient as we learn new things and respond to all of the directives coming from the Nation, state and federal levels.

    Please reach out to one of us if you have needs that are not being met by our schools, have ideas that will make us better or thoughts on how we can better meet the needs of our students.

    As we enter this new school year, we don’t know what to expect in many areas. However, our first concern is for the safety and well-being of all of our students, staff and community. We will continue to follow the state guidelines in all areas regarding safe schools.

    Our second concern is for the education of your kids. It is going to take all of us to get through this together and to make sure we are educating our students to the best of our ability.

    Parents, we need your help in making sure your student(s) log into school every day. Each day they are absent, makes it difficult for them to catch up and will limit the opportunities they have in the future. I know you want the very best for your kids and I am asking for your help!

    I really appreciate the opportunity to work with your students and I am looking forward to meeting all of you!

    Until then, be safe,

    Dr. Jim Hattabaugh





    District Mission:

    Our district will educate, nurture and strengthen all our children to be productive, contributing members of society.

    District Vision:

    Dulce Graduates will be self-directed, capable, responsible, life-long learners, who maintain their cultural identities and creative individualism.




    Welcome to Dulce Independent Schools, Heart of the Jicarilla Apache Nation! Dulce Independent School District No. 21 is a New Mexico Public School District that is located in Dulce, New Mexico on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation.  It serves students Pre-K through 12th Grade students.  It is Home to the Dulce Elementary Warriors and the Dulce Middle and High School Hawks. If you have any questions, please visit our department tabs for further information.  Thank you. 





Superintendent Updates

  • Decisions

    Posted by Dr. Jim Hattabaugh on 9/23/2020

    Return to the Classroom or Not? That is the question.

    The DISD School Board at my recommendation, voted to remain in on-line learning and cancel all athletics/activities until January 2021. This is a challenging decision in many ways.

    Remaining on-line, places a burden on all stakeholders.  Parents are asked to take more of a hands-on role in educating their children, it asks students to isolate when all they want to do is socialize and visit with friends, it asks teachers to use a medium of instruction that few were trained for, it places a burden on our delivery system and those that make it work.

    We all agree that face to face learning is the best way to educate our students. With this in mind, we must weigh the benefits versus the risks involved. The risks are apparent to all of us. We are in a pandemic with COVID 19 that has shown to have a harsher effect on Native Americans and Latino populations than for others. Is risking the lives of our children and community members worth the risk?

    We have all observed the inconsistencies at all levels on how to deal with this pandemic. For instance, while we could re-open our schools at the K-5 level with restrictions, DISD along with many other schools in New Mexico, chose not to go down this path for the safety of our community.

    With all of these considerations in mind and concerns about the overall health of everyone, it is not an easy decision. But after weighing all the possibilities, ramifications and what we know about this disease, it was clear that the safety of all concerned was the right decision.

    Please continue to work closely with your students and teachers as we all continue to learn what is the best way to reach and educate our students!


    Dr. Jim Hattabaugh,



    Comments (-1)
  • Food Services in DISD

    Posted by Dr. Jim Hattabaugh on 9/3/2020 8:00:00 AM

    Greetings Everyone!

    I hope you are all healthy and enjoying this beautiful September day!

    All of us at DISD miss all of you and hope we can resume our on campus teaching sooner than later.

    I just finished a wonderful lunch/breakfast feast from our Ms. Christina at Food Service that goes out to many of you. The Frito Pie was really good (one of my favorites), banana nut bread that would give my wife’s a run for its money, juice, animal crackers (do vegans eat these?) I tried but could not eat it all then found out it was both breakfast and lunch! I am so full and will save the crackers for a snack later today!

    Do you know that we get exactly $3.26 to fix a meal for you? From this money we must pay salaries, benefits, facilities, containers and the food. I find that amazing that Christina does so much with so little.

    Back in my day, the school cooks could and would fix anything they wanted. Now there are so many restrictions on what we can serve than it makes my head hurt. We have to consider, fat content, sugar content, calories, food groups….just to mention a few.

    I know that in a perfect world with restrictions of costs and what we can serve we would have buffalo, elk, deer steaks every day with some fish thrown in! But we must go by the rules and guidelines from the state and federal mandates.

    I hope you enjoyed the meal today as much as I did and if so, you might give a shout-out to those wonderful folks that prepare and bring it to you!

    Bon Appetit

    Dr. Jim Hattabaugh,


    Comments (-1)