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New Superintendent Honored to take on Role

Posted July 1, 2024, 12:00 AM. Updated July 1, 2024, 11:19 AM.

July 1 is Blakey's first official day as superintendent.

Albuquerque Public Schools welcomes a new leader. Dr. Gabriella Durán Blakey officially took over as superintendent of New Mexico’s largest school district on Monday, July 1.

“I’m honored to step into this position and to have the opportunity to reimagine the way we do things at APS,”  Dr. Blakey said.

Blakey—who attended Sandia Base Elementary and Van Buren Middle School and graduated from Highland High—is the 30th APS superintendent in the district’s 133 years.

“I want our schools to challenge and nurture students,” Dr. Blakey said. “I want to work with families and the community to give children what they need to be successful in the classroom. Above all, when the time comes for our students to graduate, I want them to be ready and have the skills to succeed no matter what they choose to do after high school.

“I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to make that happen,” the new superintendent added.

In February, the APS Board of Education voted unanimously to hire Blakey as the next superintendent. She replaces Scott Elder, who retired.

While Blakey officially began her term as superintendent on Monday, she has been acting superintendent since March. As acting superintendent, she visited more than a dozen schools to hear from staff and students about what the district is doing well and where it could improve. She plans to hold additional listening sessions in the coming weeks and months.

Blakey has also managed the district’s day-to-day operations and worked with senior staff and the board on key initiatives, including working to align the board’s goals with the administration’s strategic plan. 

She also launched an administrative reorganization to better position APS to meet its goals: improving reading and math proficiency rates, preparing students for life after graduation, and equipping them with the life skills they need to be successful. The reorganization officially went into effect on July 1.