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News from 2023-2024

Posted: October 25, 2023

APS Board Sets Blueprint for Superintendent Search

Under preliminary timeline, next APS leader could be selected by Jan. 31.

Superintendent search logo

Superintendent search logo

As Albuquerque Public Schools prepares to formally launch a search for its next leader, board members outlined key qualities they’re looking for.

They want a knowledgeable educator who puts kids first. A reformer with a track record of improving student outcomes. An individual with dogged determination who respects the workforce. Someone committed to equity and willing to challenge racism in all its forms.

Those were among the qualities board members prioritized during a workshop on Oct. 18 as they worked with Dr. Walter Cooper, a facilitator, to come up with a blueprint for the superintendent search. The board has retained McPherson & Jacobson, LLC. to help with the search.

“I feel very confident with the search firm we selected,” Board President Yolanda Montoya-Cordova said after the meeting. Among the issues the board tackled were the timeline for the search, public input, advertising venues, and a possible salary range.

The person selected will replace Superintendent Scott Elder, who will be leaving APS when his contract expires on June 30, 2024. The board expects to have a new superintendent in place by July 1.

Cooper presented a draft timeline, although he and the board stressed that the listed dates could change, depending on circumstances.

Under the preliminary timeline:

  • The position will be posted and advertised nationally in the coming weeks,  and the posting will remain open for about seven weeks. Among the places where the opening will be posted are The School Superintendents Association, the Council of the Great City Schools, Education Week TopSchoolJobs, the Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents, and the National Alliance of Black School Educators.
  •  An online survey of families, staff, and other community members will be conducted in November, with town hall meetings also being held in November to gather input from the community.
  • The deadline to submit an application will be Dec. 12.
  • Board members will meet in executive session to discuss candidates and conduct interviews shortly after new board members take office in January.
  • Finalists would participate in public town halls and be interviewed by the board in executive session later that month.
  • The board will select a candidate on Jan. 31.

The search process is taking place as voters decide three school board races. Two of the three board members whose terms are expiring opted not to seek reelection. The board discussed ways to include the prevailing candidates in the search process so that they’re up to date when they take office on Jan. 1.

As for the advertised salary range for the superintendent position, board members agreed that the low end should be a certain percentage above the next highest paid APS employee’s salary, with the top end being about $320,000. That range is still being finalized.