The Los Alamos School Board agreed to extend the contract of Superintendent Gene Schmidt by one year during a special board meeting Thursday night.
According School Board President Judy Bjarke-McKenzie, the deal will give the board time to find a new, permanent superintendent and provide for a more stable transition that will not involve an interim superintendent who some may see as a diminished position.
The year will also give Schmidt time to see some of the projects he initiated come to fruition.
“Instead of having two transitions involving an interim superintendent, then later on a new superintendent, we thought that would be too confusing,” Bjarke-McKenzie said, adding that the board will be working on a list of candidates throughout the year.
Schmidt, too, said that it was the right thing to do, especially for the students.
Board members also expressed concern that the succession issue was taking time away from what’s supposed to be a priority — educating students.
“That will be our goal over the next year,” Schmidt said. “We will continue to raise student achievement, as well as work on what the transition to the next superintendent is going to look like, and I look forward to my role as a guide in that process.”