Gilbert L. Sena Charter High School

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School Profile

Gilbert Sena, a retired superintendent from Bernalillo Public Schools, recognized that many secondary schools were failing with “our kind of kids." He had seen pockets of success in his international travels, and he desired to replicate such a school by using a charter model.

He invited educators Tina Patel and Tom Crespin to help him. They piloted a credit-re-engagement model at Rio Grande High School and reaffirmed his belief that a small setting with a program aimed at re-engaging families in their child’s education would help serve the many nontraditional students who struggle with traditional educational methods and settings.

Anna Zamora connected with Gilbert while at Rio Grande High School and in 2003 became the first director of the new charter school that would become Sena High. Anna opened the school with a staff of 10 and in July 2004 she opened the doors of the new facility at 69 Hotel Circle, Creative Education Prep Institute 2 (CEPi 2).

In 2007, CEPi underwent administrative changes and began the charter school reauthorization process. Though Gilbert Sena was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1998 and was not with us to see the school flourish, in 2009, CEPi2 was re-authorized under the New Mexico Public Education Department for a five-year term under the new name of our founder, Gilbert L. Sena.
Sena High has had 3 successful charter renewals since 2004.  Our focus continues to be to support students that do not fit, and are often not seen, in the traditional secondary model.

Home of the Lynx

“In southern settlements, where the Lynx is little known, it is painted as a fearsome beast of limitless ferocity, strength, and activity.”
–Ernest Thompson Seton

The rarely-sighted Lynx is among the most mysterious creatures among the Wildcats of the world. The root word for Lynx comes from a term meaning light and Lucina or Luna, immediately giving the creature associations with the Divine Feminine and lunar energies. Similarly, the term lewk, meaning bright light, references the glowing eyes of the Lynx at night. Perhaps it is the latter-mentioned allusions to light that gave Pliny the Elder the idea Lynx has the most remarkable, clear vision among four-legged creatures.


Some people call the Lynx “The Silent Witness.” The moniker originates from the fact that Lynx has exceptional night vision, remarkable hearing, and incredible instincts. The spiritual lesson Lynx carries to you is a reminder to partake of quiet observance, remembering there’s more to the world than what’s accessible through the physical eyes and ears alone.