Rio Rancho educational consultant addresses board

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KIRTLAND — With an acting superintendent overseeing the Central Consolidated School District, school board members are beginning to think about how to conduct their search for the next superintendent.

CCSD has been operating under an acting superintendent since Colleen Bowman resigned on April 27, after she and the board did not reach an agreement on a contract for the upcoming school year.

Three board members voted in favor of accepting Bowman's resignation, which will go into effect on June 30. One board member voted against the action, and one board member abstained.

The board voted 4-1 to appoint Terri Benn, principal for Eva B. Stokely Elementary School, as acting superintendent until June 30.

Gloria Rendón, an educational consultant in Rio Rancho and a retired superintendent from Santa Fe Public Schools, spoke to the board on Tuesday about topics and criteria to consider when initiating the search process.

Rendón spoke to the board after members spent nearly two hours in executive session with their attorney to discuss the possible ramifications of hiring and negotiating an employee contract for an interim or acting superintendent.

Rendón said she helped the Roswell Independent School District with its recent search for a superintendent.

"They were pretty much in your same situation. They appointed an acting superintendent about this time last year, and she was in place throughout the school year," Rendón said, adding Roswell began the search process in October and named a new superintendent last month.

One piece of advice she gave to the CCSD board was to use the upcoming school year to conduct the search.

"If you wait to take your time in doing this and start looking for a superintendent — let's say in January — you're probably going to have a better applicant pool," she said.

The school board in Roswell used three advisory groups whose membership was comprised of teachers, administrators, parents and community members as part of the search and to help with input, Rendón said.

"You need to remember the board is the decision maker. This is the only employee that you have," she said.

Board President Adam Begaye said Thursday the presentation was provided to the board to help members think about starting the search process.

The presentation was suggested by the board's attorney, and it was not an action item on the agenda, Begaye added.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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