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APS Board Postpones Decision on New Superintendent

Posted January 31, 2024, 8:45 PM. Updated February 5, 2024, 1:01 PM.

Board will reconvene on Monday.

The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday night to table a vote on the new superintendent, saying it needed more time “for due diligence.”

The decision came more than 10 hours after board members went into executive session for final interviews with the two remaining candidates. The Board will reconvene on Monday at 8 a.m.

Two finalists are being considered for the position, Dr. Thomas Ahart and Dr. Gabriella Durán Blakey.

Ahart, from Des Moines, Iowa, is the former superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools and is now a consultant with the Council of the Great City Schools. Blakey, a native of Albuquerque, is chief operations officer at APS and previously served as one of the district’s associate superintendents.

The board formally launched its national search for a superintendent in October, and 24 educators applied for the position. The superintendent search process has included feedback from more than 7,000 survey participants and more than 20 outreach sessions. More than 1,000 questions from the public were submitted for the finalists, who appeared at several public forums on Tuesday.

The next APS superintendent will oversee a district with 68,000 students, 12,000 employees, and more than 140 schools. The new superintendent will also be responsible for carrying out the district’s strategic plan to improve academic outcomes for all students.

Current Superintendent Scott Elder is leaving APS when his contract expires on June 30.