School superintendent search gets underway

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Education > Two LA residents have expressed interest

By Tris DeRoma

Two Los Alamos residents have apparently expressed an interest in becoming the next superintendent, according to Judy Bjarke-McKenzie. Because of workplace confidentiality laws regarding employees and potential employees, Bjarke-McKenzie said she can say no more about it, except that the search is just beginning.
“These two individuals approached us,” she said shortly after their executive session meeting ended last week. “We also plan to cast a wider net.”
Bjarke-McKenzie said she hopes the process of finding a candidate will wrap up sometime in January.
“We’re are also planning on having staff and community input,” she said, adding that they also plan to set the candidate qualifications and criteria at a public meeting sometime in the near future.
In March of this year, Superintendent of Schools Gene Schmidt announced his resignation, effective at the end of this year. He cited not having the full support of the school board as a reason.
While rumors swirled about what those possible reasons could be, from disagreements on how to modify the state’s teacher evaluation process to disagreements on how to handle declining school enrollment through closing a schools, no one in the administration or on the school board would disclose the reasons or confirm rumors.
After talking with the board some more, Schmidt agreed to stay until the end of the 2014-15 school year until the board found a suitable replacement.