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Superintendent's News

Posted: September 17, 2021

School Board Election

In his weekly message, Supt. Elder invites employees and the public to school board candidate forums and encourages them to vote in the upcoming election.

Board members Lorenzo Garcia, Candelaria Patterson, Elizabeth Armijo, and Dr. David Peercy

Board members Lorenzo Garcia, Candelaria Patterson, Elizabeth Armijo, and Dr. David Peercy

All elections matter, but the one coming up in a few weeks is especially significant to me because on Nov. 2, Albuquerque voters will choose my bosses. 

Four of the seven seats on the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education are up for grabs, and one of the roles of the newly elected board members will be to manage the superintendent. The board also sets policy, approves the district’s billion-dollar-plus budget, and shapes the direction of education in our community.

As an APS employee and a community member, you should also be interested in this election. Our board makes decisions that impact your job, our schools, the students we serve, and the families we support. The type of education we provide has a profound effect not only on the lives of our students but on our city, the state, our nation. As the New Mexico School Boards Association put it, school board members “represent the public on a board that has the responsibility of providing the best educational opportunities possible to all of the children residing in the school district.”

That is quite a responsibility that current board members take to heart and that will fall heavily on new members.

Our board will have four new members soon after Election Day. None of the incumbents – Dr. David Peercy, Lorenzo Garcia, Candeleria Patterson, and Elizabeth Armijo – are running for reelection. I can’t thank these board members enough for their combined 30 years of invaluable service. I am proud to have worked alongside them and the three other board members – Barbara Petersen, Peggy Muller-Aragón, and Yolanda Montoya-Cordova. The entire team has always prioritized the best interest of students despite controversy, opposition, or pushback.

Our students are at the center of the Board of Education's work. This was especially evident during the pandemic as board members faced difficult decisions surrounding remote and unfinished learning; physical, mental, and emotional health; school safety; teacher and staff support; family outreach and communication; and community partnerships. No decision is taken lightly as each board member spends countless hours reading, researching, and learning about often unprecedented issues. The amount of time and effort they dedicate to their elected positions is mind-boggling. They answer emails and phone calls; visit schools and consult with administrators, teachers, and staff; listen to students and families; demand more data, documentation, and evidence; brainstorm with district leadership and one another.

Since being named APS Superintendent, we have been developing a comprehensive strategic plan for this school year and beyond. We are working on a robust vision with achievable goals that can change APS for the better by building on strengths, culture, languages, and experiences. The APS Board of Education has insisted on a plan that celebrates our successes and highlights our students, staff, and schools in ways they haven’t been recognized before, even as we seek ways to continue to improve

Much of Albuquerque’s success reflects on the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education, which works relentlessly on behalf of the youngest members of our community so that they may experience success not only in school but in life.

That’s why it is so important for you to learn about the candidates and cast your ballot if you live in one of the four districts up for election: 

  • District 3, which includes Valley and Albuquerque high schools 
  • District  5, which includes West Mesa High School 
  • District 6, which includes Eldorado, Manzano, and Sandia high schools 
  • District 7, which includes Del Norte and La Cueva high schools

The public will have an opportunity to get to know the 13 candidates a little better during forums on Sept. 27 and 28, which will be live-streamed on the APS YouTube Channel. I encourage you to tune in:

  • Monday, Sept. 27: 6 p.m. - District 3, 7 p.m. - District  5 
  • Tuesday, Sept. 28: 6 p.m. - District 6, 7 p.m. - District 7 

You can also submit questions for the candidates, which are due by 5 p.m. today (Friday, Sept. 17). And, we will be posting candidate questionnaires to School Board Member Election.

Make a plan to cast your ballot. Even if there isn’t a school board election in your district, you can vote on an APS bond package that will help upgrade aging schools and facilities and pay for technology. The mayor's race and some City Council races are also on the ballot. Your voice, your vote, matters.