Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
This story has been updated to reflect information from a revised APS press release.
Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Raquel Reedy told the Board of Education on Tuesday that she would be retiring.
She is planning to retire at the end of the school year, which is also the end of her current contract year, on June 30, 2020.
According to a news release, the board will begin a search to fill Reedy’s position soon.
The board president will hold a news conference on Wednesday to discuss next steps.
The announcement comes after Reedy was given the biggest raise of her superintendent career this year.
With an 11% boost, Reedy’s salary went to $276,186.62 – a nearly $30,000 raise from her previous annual salary of $248,727.14.
That raise was the center of controversy, because initially there was contradictory information from APS officials surrounding the raise. Also, Reedy and the district communications team wouldn’t initially answer questions about her pay.
A news release touted accolades that happened under Reedy, including the rise in the district’s overall graduation rate by eight points.
Reedy is also credited with dividing the district into learning zones to concentrate on the needs of individual schools, focusing on bilingual programs and expanding music and art in elementary schools.
As for her personal life, the superintendent announced to her colleagues that she welcomed her first grandchild over the summer.
But there were also events under her tenure that drew criticism.
In February, voters struck down – by wide margins – all three questions on APS’ special mail-in ballot that would have brought in $900 million to APS over the next six years, partly through a property tax increase.
The last time all measures on an APS ballot were defeated was in 2003.
Low standardized test scores were also a point of concern.
For APS, 2019 Public Education Department data showed about 20% of students were proficient in math and 30% proficient in English.
Reedy was named superintendent in April 2016 after serving as acting superintendent before that in the aftermath of Luis Valentino’s resignation amid a scandal.
APS reported that Reedy is the second Hispanic woman to lead the district during its 128-year history.
She started out as a teacher for students with visual impairments in Boston in 1974.
She joined APS in 1977 as a special education teacher. She’s worked in district human resources, as a principal and an associate superintendent for elementary education.
“I have devoted over 40 years to APS, and APS is truly my dear family,” Reedy wrote in a statement. “I have announced my retirement now to allow adequate time to organize a search for a replacement who understands and personifies everything that makes Albuquerque Public Schools so unique and special. I will do whatever I can to ensure a smooth transition. I urge Albuquerque to embrace and support its next superintendent.”
She has a master’s degree in education from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Texas at Austin.