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Posted: April 11, 2015

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Dr. Luis Valentino Named APS Superintendent

Educator brings more than 20 years experience to new post

Dr. Luis Valentino, new APS Superintendent

The Albuquerque Public School Board of Education has named Dr. Luis Valentino as the next superintendent. Valentino was selected from among three finalists and will begin his new duties on July 1.

“The Board believes that Dr. Valentino has the right combination of professional experience, ability and vision to lead the Albuquerque Public Schools to even greater success than it has enjoyed in the past,” said Dr. Don Duran, president of the APS Board of Education.

“This was an extremely difficult decision,” he added. “We had an exceptional pool of finalists to choose from, and we believe we have selected the one who best fits the needs of APS. The board would like to thank all of the applicants for their time and interest in APS.”

“I am honored to have been selected,” Dr. Valentino said. “I look forward to collaborating with the Board and the district on a shared vision and working together to see that all APS students receive a world-class education.”

Dr. Valentino takes over the nearly 88,000-student district from Dr. Brad Winter, who has served as interim superintendent since August.

“We thank Dr. Winter for his leadership—he has guided us with a steady hand and been a dedicated advocate for our students,” Dr. Duran said.

Duran said that the board is currently negotiating a contract with Dr. Valentino and hope to have it finalized and brought before the board for a vote next week.

Dr. Valentino comes to Albuquerque after serving as associate superintendent of curriculum and chief academic officer for the San Francisco Unified School District since 2012. Prior to that he served as director of school services for Los Angeles Unified School District for five years. Other professional education positions:

  • Principal, Evelyn Thruman Gratts Elementary School, Los Angeles, 2000-2007
  • Faculty member, University of California (Los Angeles), Graduate School of Education and Information Science, 1998-2000
  • Assistant Principal, Logan Elementary School, Los Angeles, 1995-98
  • Evening school counselor, Garfield Adult School, Los Angeles, 1989-92
  • Lecturer, California State University, Los Angeles, 1993-2000
  • Bilingual teacher, Humphreys Elementary, Los Angeles, 1988-93

As chief academic officer in San Francisco, Valentino successfully developed a three-year strategic plan for the redesign of curriculum and instruction and raised more than $70 million to fund it.

Dr. Valentino holds a doctorate in education leadership from UCLA, a master’s in educational administration from Pepperdine University and a master’s in instructional technology from California State University.

The board put together its search process last September. It announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a firm to conduct a national search and began taking public comment on the qualities a new superintendent should possess. The board hired Ray and Associates, Inc., to lead the search. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, firm specializes in executive searches for major urban school districts across the country. The board and the firm set up the timeline for the process.

They hosted a series of public meetings on the subject and conducted an online survey. Results from the online survey were compiled and posted.

Ray and Associates placed advertisements for the position in leading national education trade publications and job websites including Education Week newspaper. Applications were accepted through March 31.

The Board reviewed 59 applications and selected six semifinalists for interviews.

Named as semi-finalists were:

  • Almudena Abeyta, deputy superintendent for Santa Fe Public Schools
  • Michael Cardona, chief school officer for Houston Independent Schools
  • Veronica Garcia, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children
  • Angelica Ramsey, chief academic officer Santa Clara County (Calif.) Office of Education
  • Rolando Trevino, superintendent of schools Lockhart (Texas) Independent School District;
  • Dr. Luis Valentino.

 Valentino, Abeyta and Cardona were selected as finalists.

Each finalist met individually with students, business and community members, teachers and staff, and parents in 90-minute formal question-and-answer sessions. Each candidate also was scheduled to meet for two-hour, closed-door interview sessions with the board.


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