Rio Rancho Elementary retirees created this sign on the chain-link fence in front of the school on Jan. 4 in remembrance of Kim Legendre. Gary Herron photo.

Many Rio Rancho Public Schools employees were saddened to hear that over the holidays, one of their beloved members died.

Kim Legendre

On Jan. 5, RRPS employees were sent an email, notifying them that, “We are very saddened to let you know that Rio Rancho Elementary School’s longtime administrative assistant, Kim Legendre, passed away during the winter break.
According to the email, Legendre had an unexpected brain aneurysm and was on life support as an organ donor until Jan. 2. Funeral services will likely be delayed because of the pandemic.
“Kim is one of our longest-serving employees, having been at Rio Rancho (Elementary) since before RRPS became a district in 1994. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, and was dedicated to Rio Rancho Elementary’s staff, students and community. She had many friends throughout the district and will be deeply missed.”
Sarah Poutsch, the school’s principal, said Legendre “was the heart of our school, greeting everyone from students, parents, substitutes, staff, administrators and applicants for positions at the school — including me, when I interviewed as the assistant principal in 2005.
“She always made everyone feel welcome. She put the needs of others before herself and frequently called to check on staff members who were not feeling well or who had suffered a loss,” Poutsch said. “Many people districtwide and from the community have reached out to share stories of the positive impact Kim made on them. Our tear-filled staff shared stories during a recent virtual meeting. Some of those stories made us cry and others made us laugh, but more than anything, they reminded us of how lucky we were to have her in our lives,” Poutsch continued. “Kim loved her husband and their family. She was very proud of her kids and her grandchildren. She loved spending time with them, and she especially enjoyed camping with them.”
According to a “spotlight” on page 29 of “Innovation, Partnerships, Results,” a 2014 book celebrating the first 25 years of RRPS, Legendre began with the district as a volunteer at Rio Rancho Elementary when her daughter started kindergarten. In 1994, she became an employee of the new district, according to RRPS human resources records.
“Working at our neighborhood school was the perfect way for me to be involved and still be a mom at home. … I have enjoyed being a part of the making of Rio Rancho Public Schools and would not trade it for the world,” she said in the book.

Gary Herron | Observer staff writer