Albuquerque Public School Board President Yolanda Montoya-Cordova announced that the district will begin its search for a new superintendent in July, and will have a superintendent chosen by the spring of 2024.
The need for a new superintendent comes after the APS Board of Education chose not to extend Superintendent Scott Elder’s contract. Elder will leave the post when his contract expires on June 30, 2024.
At the June 21 APS board meeting, Montoya-Cordova said, “We’re just beginning the process, there’s a lot of work ahead but I’m hopeful that once we can get a search firm, they can guide us through the process.” APS will put out a Request for Proposals – the process of looking for a firm – in July; from the firm, the board will seek assistance in rewriting job descriptions, setting timelines and assuring a smooth transition of leadership.
Montoya-Cordova said a draft timeline of the hiring process will be presented to board members in July. A full timeline and details about how APS will engage with the public on this decision will be discussed after the Board of Education hires a search firm.
By the time a new superintendent starts their post, at least two members of the Board of Education will be new, this is because of the coming board election on November 7. The APS board recognizes this challenge, with Montoya-Cordova saying, “[We’re] trying to build in some time before the new board members are sworn-in, [so the board has] an opportunity to bring them up to speed in terms of where we are in the process, so they can hit the ground running.”
Montoya-Cordova said she wants this process to be smooth, allowing for a transition that is comfortable for the new superintendent and staff. In the meantime, she said, the board is revising the superintendent’s job description, so it better aligns with the Goals and Guardrails being set by the APS board.
Despite the work ahead of them, Montoya-Cordova said the board would like to have a new superintendent chosen by the spring. This does not mean that Superintendent Elder would stop working however, with Montoya Cordova saying Elder has continued working and she believes he will continue to work as he has not expressed a time when he will take leave. Elder was not present at the June 21 meeting. He was unable to attend due to his attendance at a conference.
APS is looking to have community engagement in the search for the new superintendent.
Montoya-Cordova said she wants to see significant engagement with the community, bringing up the idea of a committee made up of local residents to help choose the next superintendent. She said the board can make this decision and set search parameters after a search firm is hired.
“We are really committed to making this process as transparent as possible,” Montoya-Cordova said. She said there will be regular updates to the superintendent search, “So we can make sure we are being as transparent as possible with the community,” she said.