Senator Mark Boitano served for 16 years in the New Mexico State Senate as a citizen legislator and retired in 2012. He helped craft and sponsor the 1999 Charter Schools Act that allowed for the creation of charter schools statewide. In addition, he introduced measures in the Legislature to create teacher, parent, and student compacts, increase high school graduation requirements, and implement greater local governance in the public school system. Mark graduated from Regents College and received a B.S. in Political Science and Sociology. He has been honored by the N.M. Coalition of Charter Schools, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, as a 'Business Star' by the Association of Commerce and Industry, and received a 'Leader' Award, twice, from the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce. He is president of Boitano & Associates, a real estate company specializing in sales, investments and property management. He and his wife Cory are proud parents of four children. Senator Boitano brings his knowledge and expertise of real estate, school facilities, charter school law, education policy, and business to the Governing Council of New Mexico Connections Academy.