APS Superintendent Brooks resigns, receives $350,000 buyout - Albuquerque Journal

APS Superintendent Brooks resigns, receives $350,000 buyout

Superintendent Winston Brooks
Superintendent Winston Brooks

The Albuquerque Public Schools board voted to accept the resignation of Superintendent Winston Brooks early today.

The board named Chief Operating Officer Ruben Hendrickson acting superintendent, pending a decision to name an interim superintendent.

The vote was unanimous, with Kathy Korte and Steven Michael Quezada casting their votes via a live telephone feed. Brooks was not present at the meeting.

Friday’s action was announced at the conclusion of an hourlong session, the second closed-door session to take place this week, in which board members discussed an undisclosed personnel concern involving Brooks. That earlier session, held Monday, lasted five hours.

APS Board President Analee Maestas read a statement shortly after coming out of the closed-door session, qualifying it first by sayng there would be no further comment. The statement read:

 Ruben Hendrickson, acting superintendent (Courtesy APS)
Ruben Hendrickson, acting superintendent (Courtesy APS)

“The APS board and its superintendent, Winston Brooks, have concluded that it’s in their best interest to part ways at this time.  All involved agree that the relationship has resulted in some noteworthy progress for the Albuquerque Public Schools over the last few years. The decision to end the employee relationship will allow both the board and Brooks to establish a new direction. Both agree that this decision is the best option for APS at this time. The district wishes Brooks well in his future endeavors and similarly Brooks remains very appreciative of the wonderful years that he spent at APS.” — Analee Maestas

Per the resignation agreement, the district will pay Brooks a lump sum of $350,000 to buy out the remainder of his contract for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years. Brooks will remain on the payroll on paid sick leave until his buyout is authorized by the state Public Education Department and the 2nd Judicial District, at which point Brooks will use some of that money to purchase additional years of retirement from the Educational Retirement Board, the agreement states. Brooks also will pay any taxes related to his monetary settlement.

The concerns about Brooks came up during a July 16 executive session, while the board was discussing a professional improvement plan it had created for Brooks in the wake of last November’s Twitter fiasco. At the time, Brooks posted the now infamous “moo, moo-oink, oink” tweet in reference to state Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera, with whom he disagreed about many of her mandated public education reforms.

APS Board President  Maestas hired attorney Agnes Padilla to look into the most recent concerns regarding Brooks. A report detailing her findings has been presented to the board members but has not been publicly released.

Brooks has been the APS superintendent since July 2008. He signed a three-year rolling contract with the APS board, under which he was eligible for a one-year extension every year. His base salary was $250,000 a year plus a $51,500 yearly payment toward Brooks’ Supplemental Retirement Plan.

After the November Twitter incident, the board voted to not extend Brooks’ contract for one year beyond the June 2016 expiration date.

During his years as superintendent, Brooks and APS have faced three sex discrimination lawsuits, two of which are ongoing.

He has also enjoyed professional accomplishments. Graduation rates rose from 63.2 percent in 2008, the year Brooks was hired, to 73.3 percent for the graduating class of 2013.

Timeline of Winston Brooks’ APS career


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Alec Baldwin fires prop gun that kills 1, injures ...
ABQnews Seeker
Incident took place on movie set ... Incident took place on movie set outside Santa Fe
2
Man's death in custody of APD ruled a homicide
ABQnews Seeker
Officers found to have violated policy ... Officers found to have violated policy in use-of-force procedures
3
Navajo group claims uranium mining violates its human rights
ABQnews Seeker
Community resistance to mine license dates ... Community resistance to mine license dates back to mid-1990s
4
Lovebirds flock to reopened county building for licenses
ABQnews Seeker
Some marriages delayed after closure of ... Some marriages delayed after closure of headquarters due to vandalism incidents
5
Police shooting in homicide probe is detailed
ABQnews Seeker
Suspected carjacking by person of interest Suspected carjacking by person of interest
6
Fatal crash nets 6 years
ABQnews Seeker
Judge sentences man who was involved ... Judge sentences man who was involved in 2017 collision
7
Sheriff accused of colluding with PAC
2021 city election
Campaign calls allegation 'baseless' Campaign calls allegation 'baseless'
8
NM records 1,132 new COVID cases, 7 more fatalities
ABQnews Seeker
Grim milestone of 5,000 deaths nears Grim milestone of 5,000 deaths nears
9
Stadium bond opposition sparks ethics complaint
2021 city election
A Downtown Albuquerque resident said his ... A Downtown Albuquerque resident said his neighbors and the public should know who is behind the campaign to defeat the city's $50 million stadium ...
10
Health officials prepare for rollout of COVID vaccine for ...
ABQnews Seeker
State has pre-ordered 66,000 doses over ... State has pre-ordered 66,000 doses over three waves