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News from 2023-2024

Posted: February 6, 2024

Meet the Incoming Superintendent

An accomplished violinist, Dr. Gabriella Durán Blakey grew up in the Southeast Heights and has worked at Albuquerque Public Schools for more than 20 years.

Dr. Gabriella Blakey

Dr. Gabriella Blakey

Dr. Gabriella Durán Blakey grew up in Albuquerque’s Southeast Heights, the daughter of a nurse and a longtime educator who instilled in their three children the value of being of service to others.

A collaborative leader, Dr. Blakey has spent her career working to improve outcomes for children and investing her time in organizations and initiatives that build successful communities. She is a staunch advocate for getting more women into leadership roles.

As the Chief Operations Officer for Albuquerque Public Schools for the last three-and-a-half years, Dr. Blakey has overseen everything from transportation and school meals to APS Police and more than 16 million square feet of facilities. She directed the investment of millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements to make schools safer, and she and her team have overseen the rebuilds of five schools and the construction of two transportation centers.

During the pandemic, she led district initiatives for COVID-19 safety protocols in schools, coordinated food distribution of over 1 million meals to the community, worked with the city’s Emergency Management Department and the state Department of Health to set up community vaccination sites, and played a key role in the reopening of all 143 APS schools.  

More recently, she helped write the Emerging Stronger strategic plan that serves as a roadmap for how APS will meet its five-year goals of boosting literacy and math proficiency, improving post-secondary readiness, and ensuring that students graduate with the skills, mindsets, and habits they will need to be successful in life.

Altogether, Dr. Blakey has worked at APS for more than 20 years, starting as a social studies and English Language Learner teacher at Highland High and Albuquerque Evening School and then serving as an assistant principal, principal, and associate superintendent. 

As an associate superintendent, Dr. Blakey:

  • Created a school transformation model for three schools designated as failing, resulting in increased student performance outcomes.
  • Developed a school data scorecard, leading to increases in key performance indicators at every school in her zone and resulting in increased student performance on the state assessment of up to 30%.
  • Implemented, trained, and led Instructional Rounds as a model of professional development for 143 principals, resulting in a double-digit increase in student performance on the state assessment.

She also served a stint as assistant superintendent for curriculum and professional development at Santa Fe Public Schools and was the founder and executive director of Health Leadership High School, an Albuquerque charter school offering project-based learning for disenfranchised high school students.

She earned her doctorate of education and Master of Arts in educational leadership from the University of New Mexico and holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from New Mexico State University.

Dr. Blakey is an accomplished violinist who plays for the Symphony Orchestra of Albuquerque and is a member of the boards of Explora Children’s Science Museum, United Way of Central New Mexico, and the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program. Her husband, Paul Blakey, is also an educator and a professional musician.