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Posted: December 15, 2023

24 Apply for APS Superintendent Job

Board expects to choose a new leader for the district by the end of January.

Superintendent search logo

Superintendent search logo

Two dozen educators from across the country are vying to be the next leader of Albuquerque Public Schools as the Board of Education strives to have a new superintendent in place by July 1.

Tuesday was the application deadline for the position, and the board is tentatively planning to choose a new leader in late January.

The applicant pool is made up of 15 out-of-state educators and nine from New Mexico. Three of them are current APS administrators – the district’s Chief Operations Officer, the Chief of Schools, and the Principal of Highland High School.

Applicants are:

  • Thomas Ahart, Des Moines, IA, former superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools, now a consultant with the Council of the Great City Schools
  • Michelle Amiot, South Jordan, UT, Salt Lake City School District administrator
  • Juanita Becenti, Continental Divide, NM, former Dulce superintendent
  • Mason Bellamy, Clarksville, TN, Chief of Academics and Schools for Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Gabriella Durán Blakey, Albuquerque, Chief Operations Officer, Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Nicola Campagna, Harrellsville, NC, former Superintendent Intern, Bloomfield Public Schools
  • Edgardo Castro, Truth or Consequences, NM, Chief Academic and Federal Programs Officer, Truth or Consequences Municipal School District
  • Mohammed Choudhury, Columbia, MD, State Superintendent in Maryland
  • Travis Dempsy, Las Cruces, NM, Superintendent, Gadsden Independent Schools
  • Jerry Gibson, League City, TX, former superintendent, Galveston ISD
  • Josie Gutierrez, Arlington, TX, Deputy Superintendent for Waco Independent School District
  •  Marco Harris, Albuquerque, Highland High School Principal
  • Kelli Joseph, Reserve, LA, Superintendent of Schools, St. Helena Parish School District
  • Piedad Kaye, Highland Park, IL, Assistant Superintendent, Mannheim District 38
  • Shalanda Looney, Tonopah, AZ, attorney
  • Kay Morris, Albuquerque, Pojoaque Valley School District Associate Superintendent
  • Mathew Neal, Woodland Park, CO, former superintendent, Woodland Park, Colorado
  • Christopher Ortiz, Longview, WA, Deputy Superintendent, Reynolds School District #7
  • Greg Rockhold, Hobbs, NM, Director of Programs, Hobbs Municipal Schools
  • Kenny Rodrequez, Lee's Summit, MO, Superintendent, Grandview C-4 School District
  • Jesús Rodríguez, Denver, CO, former superintendent, Roaring Fork School District
  • Channell Segura, Albuquerque, Chief of Schools, Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Lillian Torrez, Albuquerque, former superintendent, Taos Municipal Schools
  • Esmeralda Valdez, McAllen, TX, Special Education Educator, Richland School District

For more on the applicants, go to the APS superintendent search applicants page.

The person selected will replace Superintendent Scott Elder, who will be leaving APS when his contract expires on June 30.

He and the board made the announcement this summer. The board subsequently retained McPherson & Jacobson, LLC. to help it conduct a search for the district’s next leader.

Board members recently held two community listening sessions and launched an online survey to gather input on the qualities the community wants to see in the next superintendent. The board will use that input to evaluate applicants.

In the coming weeks the board will conduct interviews and whittle down the list of applicants to a set of finalists. The public will have an opportunity to meet the finalists before the newly constituted APS Board of Education picks a new superintendent.