ALAMOGORDO — Alamogordo Public Schools Superintendent Adrianne Salas submitted her resignation to APS Board of Education members during their executive session Wednesday evening.
After coming out of executive session, APS board members accepted Salas’ resignation during their special board meeting.
The call for Salas’ resignation came from MainGate members after APS received F grades for Alamogordo High School and Oregon Elementary from the state’s Public Education Department.
In an Aug. 29 letter provided to the Daily News, MainGate’s Bob Patillo called for “an immediate change at the superintendent position is the best course of action.”
Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce Executive Director G.B. Oliver also stated on the Chamber’s website that the grades are “alarming.”
Both Patillo and Oliver wanted to make public comments during APS’ Aug. 29 special meeting but there was no public comment section on the special meeting agenda.
Salas was appointed as APS’ superintendent in 2014 after Dr. George Straface resigned from the position. Salas’ resignation is effective Dec. 1, 2018. She will be on an extended leave until Dec. 1 and has been relieved of all her official duties immediately, according to an APS Board of Education press release. Salas will draw her salary until Dec. 1 then APS can appoint an interim superintendent.
For now, Alamogordo High School Athletic Director Jerrett Perry was appointed acting superintendent by the APS board.
Salas has been with the APS district for about 27 years. She started teaching at Oregon Elementary School then was named superintendent.
APS Board President David W. Weaver said Salas will officially retire from APS on Dec. 1.
“The fact that we went down two grades was very distressing to me,” Weaver said. “I think we could’ve avoided one of the steps down very easily for the attendance of 94 percent instead of getting the 95 percent. Obviously, it falls in her lap and my lap.”
He said MainGate has been after APS concerning the grades.
“This has been a little bit of a witch hunt after her from day one,” Weaver said. “I think she was tired of it. I was tired of it. When we found out when her retirement date really was, it made it very easy for her to say, I don’t have to put up with this anymore.”
He said it was a consensus between the board members and Salas when Salas realized she could take an extended leave then retire on Dec. 1.
“It allows us to move faster moving into a superintendent search,” Weaver said. “I am sick to death that we lost her. I am sorry that we lost her. I think she’s done some fantastic things in this district in the years that she’s been at the helm.”
He said Perry will take over for a brief period of time.
“We have to have someone running the ship,” Weaver said. “We had several people that we discussed, but Perry really has the ability to give us the most time to do this outside of his normal duties. I am hoping (he will be at the helm) for less than a week. I will start tomorrow (Thursday) with a search for an acting superintendent who can become our interim superintendent. We can’t have two superintendents.”
He said he is hoping to have someone under contract in April or May.
“I am hoping to bring somebody in (as interim superintendent) who has some experience to be able to move us forward,” Weaver said. “That person will probably be here until we get a permanent superintendent in place. I hope we’ll have someone under contract by April or May to start either June 1 or July 1.”
He said it give the district nine months to do their due diligence to truly vet someone to make sure they’re going to be the right fit for the superintendent’s position.
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