Chief of schools sought job

By Mike Linn

Portales Schools Superintendent Dr. James Holloway is looking to extend his career beyond the realms of Portales, and was one of four finalists for the Carlsbad schools superintendent position that was filled by another candidate Friday afternoon.
Holloway said his application in Carlsbad has nothing to do with the city where he works, the teachers or the philosophy of the Portales school board.
“I have one of the best teams of administrators and teachers that you could possibly have in Portales,” Holloway said. “This has nothing to do with that; it has everything to do with my own personal growth and security.”
Instead of Holloway and 28 other candidates, the Carlsbad School Board chose Charlotte Neill for the position. Neill has been the acting superintendent of Carlsbad schools since August.
Neill will make $135,000 annually for one year before school board officials can renew the contract. Holloway said he makes $87,000 annually in Portales.
Holloway said the salary, a multi-term contract and increased retirement benefits are a few issues that attracted him to the job in Carlsbad.
The Carlsbad School Board deliberated in a closed-door executive session for 40 minutes Friday before President James Williams announced Neill’s hire.
Following the new hire Williams said he and the other members were impressed with Holloway’s resume and credentials but thought the best decision was to hire internally.
‘‘It became clear to us that our best move was internally,’’ board member Bobby Love Jr. said.
Noel Clark said he was ‘‘more excited than ever’’ to be a school board member with Neill as superintendent.
‘‘We didn’t inherit you, we picked you, and that feels good,’’ he said.
Neill thanked the board members and the community.
‘‘This district does the best we can,’’ the new superintendent said. ‘‘We have everyone out there doing their best.’’
Holloway began in Portales as the assistant superintendent for two years before becoming the acting superintendent for 1999/2000 school year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.