In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Albuquerque Public Schools has shifted gears in its superintendent search, deciding to suspend the hunt until the fall and to appoint an interim leader in the meantime.
Before the coronavirus hit New Mexico, the state’s largest school district was in the middle of finding a replacement for current Superintendent Raquel Reedy, who is set to retire in June. The Board of Education even named five semifinalists.
But that was put on hold while the state and district grappled with the pandemic.
On Tuesday night, the board voted 5-2 to find someone to head the district for the short term.
Board President David Peercy told the Journal that the interim superintendent would be a current APS employee.
“We’ll have to, as a board, take a look really quickly at who we think might work as an interim and get that process going,” he said. “We want to stabilize this for the whole district.”
He said that when the search picks up in the fall, the district will use the same search firm and will honor the offer to the five semifinalists to move forward in the search — should the semifinalists want to. The plan is also to accept additional applications at that time.
Peercy said that Reedy decided not to stay on past her retirement date.
“I have talked with her about potentially staying on for another year, and she wasn’t interested in doing that, and that’s fine,” he said.
Board member Peggy Muller-Aragón, who voted “no,” said she thought the district should have moved forward with the semifinalists who were already chosen to find a more permanent leader who could head the district during this difficult time.
Board member Barbara Petersen, who could not be reached for comment, also voted “no.”