Posted: September 8, 2010

Sink Named Interim Principal at Rio Grande High

Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks has named APS Chief Academic Officer Linda Sink as interim principal at Rio Grande High School.

Sink, who replaces principal Cynthia Challberg-Hale, has been chief academic officer for the district since July 2008. She previously served as interim superintendent and has more than 10 years experience as a principal at the high school level.

Challberg-Hale is expected to take another position within the Albuquerque Public Schools.

“I have every confidence that Ms. Sink will be able to work closely with the students, teachers and parents in the Rio Grande community to continue the progress that has been made in recent years,” Brooks said.

“We have begun to turn the school around and I believe that Linda Sink can continue that process,” Brooks added, noting that the school implemented a redesign plan last year.

Sink will serve as interim principal at Rio Grande High through the end of the first semester in December.

“This has been an incredibly difficult time for our entire community,” APS Board of Education President Marty Esquivel said. “Mistakes were made and we’re doing our best to right the ship. We need to pull together at this point for the good of the children at Rio Grande High School. I commend those teachers, students and staff at Rio Grande High School who have worked through these hard times.

“Linda Sink has made an incredibly selfless decision to work through our problems at Rio Grande. In fairness, she’s not going to solve all of the problems overnight. Many issues have been raised which deserve a thorough and thoughtful look. We will be engaging in that review and providing the answers our community deserves,” Esquivel added. “We will be working on better communication during this process. While we are at a crossroads, I am very confident that we can work collaboratively to improve Rio Grande High School.”

Brooks said that a screening committee with district administrators, teachers and parents will be formed to interview candidates for the position of Rio Grande principal. He said that the job will be advertised immediately.

“It has been a tough start to the school year at Rio Grande, but I believe that the changes I am announcing today, will allow the school to move forward and students to make even more progress,” Brooks said.

He noted that Sink had met with administrative staff at the school this morning and would be meeting with teachers at the school during lunchtime.

Brooks thanked parents and teachers at Rio Grande for their patience and students for their “mature and respectful” response to the recent challenges at the school.