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Posted: January 12, 2021

15 Apply for Superintendent Job, Including Interim Scott Elder

The Board of Education will choose candidates to interview along with three semi-finalists who were selected in March before the pandemic closed school buildings.

The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education is continuing its search for a superintendent, which started more than a year ago in the fall of 2019 when then-Superintendent Raquel Reedy announced retirement plans.

The board had selected five semi-finalists from a pool of 39 applicants and was planning interviews when the pandemic hit and school buildings were closed. The search was put on hold and the Board appointed Scott Elder, the then Chief Operations Officer, as interim superintendent.

A couple of months ago, the Board voted to restart the search, announcing that it would interview already selected semi-finalists who were still interested in the job as well as potential new applicants.

The job was reposted, and applications were due on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

Three of the previously selected semi-finalists have indicated they are still interested in the job:

  • Kimberly Finke, Principal of Albuquerque Public Schools Whittier Elementary School
  • James McIntyre, Assistant Professor & Director, Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Tennessee
  • Bolgen Vargas, Self-Employed Consultant and former Superintendent for Rochester City School District in New York

Two other semi-finalists have since taken other jobs and withdrew their applications:

  • Vickie Bannerman, former Volcano Vista High School principal who now works for the New Mexico Public Education Department
  • Michelle Cavazos, who accepted another superintendent position in Texas

Interim Superintendent Elder didn't initially apply for the job but did this time around.

So did 14 other professional educators from as far away as Moscow, for a total of 15 applicants. They include:

  • 11 men
  • Four women
  • Four who are or have been superintendents
  • Four who work in central office roles
  • Three who are principals
  • And three who work in other positions

Ten of the applicants are Caucasian, three are Hispanic, one is African American and one is Asian.

Three of the applicants are from New Mexico, and two are from Pennsylvania. The others are from Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Russia.  

The search firm hired by the Board to find the person best suited to be the next APS superintendent will review the applications, check references, and initiate background checks. 

The Board will meet with the search firm on Jan. 20 in an executive session to select semi-finalists for the job.

Those semi-finalists will be interviewed in February to determine a final group of candidates for a second interview and public engagement.

"We will provide opportunities for APS families, employees, students, and community members to "meet" the candidates, probably through Zoom meetings similar to how we've been holding board meetings during the pandemic," said Board President Dr. David Peercy. "The community will have an opportunity during these meetings to ask questions of the finalist. We are committed to working around the pandemic's challenges to make this process as public and transparent as possible."

The Board hopes to announce the new superintendent in late March or early April and have that person assume the job on July 1.

The job will be even more challenging as the district prepares to reopen schools to all students, return to some semblance of normalcy, and resume the teaching and learning pace practiced prior to the pandemic. 

Table: APS Superintendent Job Applicants
Applicant's NamePositionEmployer
Stuart Albaugh Principal, Adelphoi Education Latrobe, PA
Christopher Bonn Superintendent, Raton Public Schools

Raton, NM
Richard DeLorenzo  Advisor to the President, Sherbank  Moscow, Russia
Scott Elder Interim Superintendent, Albuquerque Public Schools  Albuquerque, NM 
Deborah Lancaster Superintendent, Wrangell Public School District Wrangell, AK
Robert Lundin Assistant Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Education Nashville, TN
Pablo Ortego ELL Director, Des Moines Public Schools Des Moines, IA Des Moines, IA
Wendy Reisinger  No position listed Palmyra, PA
Ignacio Ruiz  Assistant Superintendent, Clark County School District Las Vegas, NV
Andrew Scherrer Executive Director, Equity & Access, Fresno Unified School District Fresno, CA
Ushma Shah Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools, Instruction and Equity, School District U-46 Elgin, IL
Daniel Snowberger Superintendent, Durango School District 9-R Durango, CO
Mariana Vergara President, Mindfulness into Action Research Institute Dover, NJ
Trisean Wilson Head of School/CEO – International High School of New Orleans New Orleans, LA
Douglas Wine  Principal, Holy Ghost Catholic School Albuquerque, NM
Table: APS Superintendent Job Semifinalists
Semifinalist's NamePositionEmployerApplication
Kimberly Finke Principal Albuquerque Public Schools  Kimberly Finke Application (PDF)
James McIntyre Assistant Professor
& Director, Center
for Educational Leadership
University of Tennessee  James McIntyre Application (PDF)
Bolgen Vargas Consultant Self-employed  Bolgen Vargas Application (PDF)