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Weighing in on superintendent’s retirement

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

With Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Raquel Reedy announcing her intent to retire, sentiment has ranged from praise to shock.

Board member Peggy Muller-Aragon, who is up for re-election this November, thanked Reedy via written statement but also said she wishes she found out sooner.

She noted that board president David Peercy was told about a week ago, saying she would have preferred the entire board get the same information at the same time.

Rather, board members found out Tuesday night at an APS committee meeting.

“It came as a total shock to me. The only thing I can say about that is I wish that we would have known at the same time as the board president did. I think that would have been the right thing to do,” she said. “I was expecting to go into executive session and to do an evaluation on the superintendent that was supposed to be done by Sept. 30 according to her contract, so, that’s what I thought it was really going to be about.”

In contrast, board member Yolanda Montoya-Cordova said she applauds how Reedy announced her retirement.

“I appreciate how she enters into things with ease and grace. And, obviously, entering into this retirement announcement with ease and grace. I think the way she did it was appropriate. It’s a tough transition for anyone.”

Montoya-Cordova praised Reedy for being a good role model for the Latino community. Board member Candelaria Patterson also sang her praises.

“What she brought to this community and this district were her over 40 years of institutional knowledge that actually helped stabilize this district and actually the community as a whole. With that, she was able to move our district forward,” Patterson said.

Peercy echoed this, becoming emotional while he did.

“She cares about continuing what she’s doing right now in the schools and making sure that as long as she’s here for the next eight months, that she’s going to do as much as she can to make the schools successful,” he said.

Peercy said Reedy had good evaluations while she was superintendent.

Albuquerque Teachers Federation President Ellen Bernstein said she didn’t know Reedy’s retirement was on its way.

“She came in during a very difficult time and was a stabilizing force – that was important,” she said.

Bernstein was more forward-looking, saying the next superintendent should have leadership vision and management skills.

She didn’t answer if Reedy had those qualifications but said Reedy had a steady hand.

“The way I see Raquel is that she kept a steady hand moving forward and managed those really difficult times,” Bernstein said, citing budget cuts and standardized testing controversy.

“It’s always a very exciting and very scary time,” she said about a new superintendent coming in.

During that time, Amanda Aragon, executive director of education nonprofit and advocate group NewMexicoKidsCAN, urged community involvement.

“Every citizen of Albuquerque needs to be engaged in the search for a new superintendent, we owe it our children and the progress of our city. It is imperative that the APS school board find and hire a leader who will relentlessly work to improve student learning and deliver results for our students and their families,” she wrote in part in a statement.

Reedy has been involved in several organizations during her time as superintendent including serving on the executive committee of the board of United Way of Central New Mexico.

“Superintendent Reedy has provided continuous and valuable leadership to United Way’s education-focused strategies as a member and co-chair of our Mission: Graduate initiative,” Rodney Prunty, president and CEO of the United Way of Central New Mexico, wrote in a statement. “Her commitment has enabled us to work closely with schools and the APS leadership to establish a sharper focus on improved attendance, career exploration experiences, and a model for student attributes called the Graduate Profile.”

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