APS announces superintendent candidates, next steps in search process


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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools held a news conference on Tuesday, January 12 to reveal the applicants for a superintendent and to discuss the next steps in the search process. APS announced its search for a new superintendent after former Superintendent Raquel Reedy announced her retirement. The district suspended the search in March when the coronavirus pandemic closed schools.

The APS Board of Education appointed the district’s former Chief Operations Officer Scott Elder as Interim Superintendent until a permanent superintendent could be selected. The Board voted to restart the search in November and announced already selected semi-finalists would be interviewed in addition to potential new applicants.

The district reposted the position and applications were due on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Three of the previously selected semi-finalists have stated they were still interested in the position:

  • Kimberly Finke, Principal of Albuquerque Public Schools Whittier Elementary School
  • James McIntyre, Assistant Professor & Director, Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Tennessee
  • Bolgen Vargas, Self-Employed Consultant and former Superintendent for Rochester City School District in New York

Two other semifinalists have since taken other jobs and withdrew their applications:

  • Vickie Bannerman, former Volcano Vista High School principal who now works for the New Mexico Public Education Department
  • Michelle Cavazos, who accepted another superintendent position in Texas

According to APS, Elder did not initially apply for the position but did apply for the job. Fourteen additional applicants have applied and include:

  • 11 men
  • Four women
  • Four who are or have been superintendents
  • Four who work in central office roles
  • Three who are principals
  • And three who work in other positions

According to APS, three of the applicants are from New Mexico and two are from Pennsylvania. The others are from Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Russia.

A search firm hired by the Board will review the applications, check references and will initiate background checks. On January 20, the Board will meet with the search firm in an executive session to select semi-finalists for the position.

Those semi-finalists will be interviewed in February and a final group of candidates will face a second interview and public engagement. APS states that the Board hopes to announce the new superintendent in late March or early April and that individual will assume the job on July 1. Additional information on the applicants can be found on aps.edu.

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