Superintendent finalists to visit Los Alamos

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By Carol A. Clark

Los Alamos Public Schools, noted as one of the highest-performing districts in New Mexico, is searching for just the right superintendent to take charge this July.

LAPS is seeking a superintendent who is committed to academic excellence for all students, according to material furnished from the district’s search consultant.

The individual should have a demonstrated record of continually improving student achievement, a strong record of financial management, an orientation focused on outcome rather than process, and a history of working well with local and state elected and appointed officials.

An individual with a scientific background would be especially appropriate for this position.

Although she’s been asked by many, even begged by some to stay on because of her stellar performance, Interim Superintendent Mary McLeod will retire in July.

School board members are pushing to bring the new superintendent on board with an opportunity to spend some quality time with McLeod before she leaves.

“We’ve got some really good candidates,” McLeod told board members during Thursday evening’s school board meeting at Mountain Elementary School. “We will have those narrowed down as soon as our consultant completes his work of verifying all of the materials the candidates sent in.”

Final interviews here of the finalists by the board and presentations around Los Alamos by the finalists are scheduled for April 16, 17 and 18.

“We’re really trying to bring public input into this and find some kind of method to hear what you think,” Board President Joan Ahlers told the audience Thursday.

LAPS has a budget of $38 million and serves 3,500 students through the five elementary schools, middle school and high school.

The district follows the principles of the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and its goal is to provide all students with a strong academic program designed around the individual needs, abilities, and interests of each student.      

In other business, the board approved 4-0 four policies including graduation requirements, open enrollment, volunteers and document retention. Board Vice President Ken Johnson was absent.

Contact Carol A. Clark at lanews@lamonitor.com or (505) 662-4185 ext. 25. Read her blog at www.newsextras.wordpress.com.