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Ex-superintendent lands lucrative gig in Portland

Former APS Superintendent Luis Valentino (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Luis Valentino, Albuquerque Public Schools’ controversial former superintendent, has won a lucrative three-month contract with the Portland school system.

Valentino will earn $45,000, along with about $5,000 for expenses, to help Portland Public Schools’ Office of Teaching and Learning work on a strategic plan, according to documents provided by the district. His employment term runs from Dec. 4, 2017, to Feb. 28, 2018.

Portland Public Schools spokesman Dave Northfield declined to answer additional questions about Valentino’s hiring, but emailed a statement praising his experience.

“We are grateful that Dr. Valentino is bringing his 30 years of expertise in educational leadership to help PPS during a critical period of transition as we build our permanent team,” Northfield said. “He has provided critical leadership in the San Francisco Unified School District, where he built a division of curriculum and instruction. … Dr. Valentino also excelled as a leader in the Los Angeles Unified School District.”

Valentino’s time at APS was less successful.

After a two-month tenure, he resigned in August 2015 with an $80,000 buyout amid revelations that his hand-picked deputy was facing child sex assault charges in Denver.

Jason Martinez, former APS deputy superintendent, repeatedly dodged a mandatory criminal background check that would have flagged his legal issues. He was found not guilty after two trials.

Don Moya, Ex-APS CFO

Valentino also tangled with Don Moya, then APS chief financial officer, over proposed departmental audits.

In a notorious “errant text,” Valentino attempted to tell then-Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera that he planned to “go after” Moya for running “roughshot.” The text accidentally went to Moya, who distributed it to the media, and was promptly placed on paid administrative leave.

Moya filed a whistleblower lawsuit in August 2015, contending that he experienced retaliation for speaking out against taxpayer waste and questionable ties between Martinez and a potential vendor.

The lawsuit settled in November. Terms are confidential for six months.

“APS and Mr. Moya have reached an agreement to resolve his lawsuit,” Kate Ferlic, Moya’s attorney, said in a statement. “Both parties are happy to put the events of 2015 behind them and are moving forward in a positive direction.”

Moya now works as a finance director for Santa Fe County.

Valentino declined a request for comment.

Since leaving APS, Valentino has opened the Valgar Institute, “an education knowledge network” that includes book publishing, a “daily digest” of education news and a podcast.

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