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Posted: January 9, 2024

Events Planned to Introduce Finalists to Community

APS Board members still whittling down applicant pool.

Superintendent search meetings

Superintendent search meetings

From improving outcomes for all students to managing the day-to-day affairs of a school system with more than 68,000 students, the job of Albuquerque Public Schools superintendent is a big one.

As board members sift through applicants and decide which ones should advance they’re also carving out a day for members of the community to meet the finalists they end up selecting. Community members will also have an opportunity to submit questions for the finalists.  The deadline for submitting questions is Jan. 26.

If you want to hear the finalists’ plans for improving APS, mark Tuesday, Jan. 30 on your calendar. On that day, APS will be hosting a series of public forums with the finalists at the Berna Facio Professional Development Complex, 3315 Louisiana Blvd. NE:

  • 9 a.m. – noon: Public Town Hall featuring a student panel and pre-submitted questions for the superintendent finalists
  • 5-5:45 p.m.: APS Employee Forum where finalists will be asked questions pre-submitted by teachers and staff
  • 6-8 p.m.: General Public Forum where finalists will introduce themselves and answer pre-submitted questions

All public events will be livestreamed on the APS Board of Education YouTube Channel. Livestreamed events will be closed captioned through YouTube. Spanish and Sign Language interpretation will be provided. If you need another language, please email

Twenty-four people applied to be the district’s next superintendent, with four emerging as semi-finalists. On Tuesday, Jan. 16, the board interviewed the four and whittled the list to three finalists:

  • Thomas Ahart, the former superintendent of Des Moines Public Schools now a consultant with the Council of the Great City Schools

  • Gabriella Durán Blakey, chief operations officer at APS and previously one of the district’s associate superintendents for leadership and learning.

  • Mason Bellamy, currently serving as chief of academics and schools for Metro Nashville Public Schools and previously worked for the Clarksville Montgomery County School System

Bellamy has withdrawn his name from consideration, leaving two finalists for the position. 

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

The board will again meet in executive session on Jan. 31 to interview finalists.

The person selected will take the district’s helm on July 1.