ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After more than a year, the search for the Albuquerque Public Schools superintendent is almost over, the board will conduct public interviews this upcoming week for the three candidates. The search originally began in November of 2019, when then-Superintendent Raquel Reedy announced her retirement. Now after more than a year, the search for APS’s next superintendent, which was put on hold because of the pandemic, is almost over.
“We felt like it was not a good time to try to do anything,” said APS School Board President Dr. David Peercy. The board started with 39 candidates, and they were able to whittle it down to four. However, Peercy says one of the candidates, Ushmah Shah recently withdrew her application for personal reasons.
The board will interview those final three candidates, this week. They’ll be asking Interim Superintendent Scott Elder, Ignacio Ruiz, and Dr. Bolgen Vargas questions sent to them from the community, as well as some of their own. “We’ve had over 300 questions that have been asked by the community,” said Dr. Peercy.
Ellen Bernstein, the President of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation says in a survey, they asked teachers what they’d like to see in a leader. “As teachers, we see a difference between a manager and a leader,” said Bernstein. “We’re hopeful the board is going to hire somebody who has leadership ability,” Bernstein told KRQE.
Both Bernstein and Peercy say the new superintendent will have to face COVID-related challenges. “What we need to do with this new superintendent is start school in the fall in a completely different than we’ve done in the previous falls,” said Bernstein.
The interviews will be streamed on YouTube. They’re scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday starting at 6 p.m. Dr. Peercy says he thinks they could have a selection by the second week of March.