CCSD interim superintendent placed on leave by school board

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Central Consolidated School District Board of Education has placed interim superintendent Dave Goldtooth on administrative leave.

During a regular meeting on May 19, Board President Gary Montoya, Vice President Suzette Haskie and Secretary Christina J. Aspaas voted in favor of placing Goldtooth on administrative leave, effective immediately. Board members Charlie Jones Jr. and Sheldon Pickering did not attend the meeting.

No further information was provided at the meeting or in a press release the district emailed to The Daily Times.

Montoya declined to comment on May 20 about the matter and Goldtooth could not be reached for comment.

During the public comment portion of the May 19 meeting, Montoya read a written comment from a teacher who wrote they were "disappointed" to hear about the "sudden resignation" of Goldtooth.

Prior to the vote, Montoya, Haskie and Aspaas met in executive session, which the agenda listed as discussing "limited personnel matters" regarding the "achievement of assigned expectations and goals assigned to the superintendent" and "additional expectations and goals of the superintendent."

Amanda Sutherland, director of student support services for the district, will serve as acting superintendent until a new superintendent takes office. Sutherland has been with the district since April 2016.

The board is in the process of searching for a permanent superintendent.

During the meeting on May 19, Montoya said the board's decision about Goldtooth will not "impede or interrupt" the superintendent search.

"This action of inserting Ms. Sutherland as the interim will go up until that time that we have somebody in place. So, I just wanted to make that clear to the public," Montoya said.

Roberto Taboada, spokesman for the district, said the superintendent position has been advertised since April 27 and the last day to apply is May 29.

The board's expectation is to have the superintendent in place by July 1, Taboada said.

In recent years, the district has been managed by acting or interim superintendents.

The previous board approved last June a one-year contract for Terri Benn to serve as superintendent for the 2019-2020 school year.

The contract came after Benn completed stints as acting and interim superintendent in 2018.

According to board minutes from Sept. 12, 2019, Benn submitted a letter of resignation on Aug. 23, 2019. Her resignation was accepted by the board on Sept. 12, 2019 and board members named Goldtooth as acting superintendent that day.

Goldtooth was later confirmed as interim superintendent for the remaining school year.

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

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