School board readies for superintendent selection

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

Portales School Board members have moved on to the first steps of hiring a new superintendent of schools to replace the outgoing James Holloway, a task they hope to accomplish in the next two months.
School board members held an executive session on Wednesday afternoon and met for more than an hour to discuss the qualifications, application process, advertising and the time-frame to hire a new superintendent.
“We discussed how the process was going to go,” Inez Rodriguez, school board president, said after the executive session. “We will place ads in the Albuquerque Journal, Amarillo Globe News, National School Boards Association (Web site) and other newspapers by April 25.”
Holloway also suggested the position be advertised in the New Mexico Coalition of School Administrators. Margie Tarango, administrative assistant for personnel, presented school board members with information on what the applications look like for the position.
Rodriguez said the closing date on receiving applications will be May 16. She also said the applications will be narrowed down to finalists by May 23. The school board members will interview the finalists and a new superintendent will be selected by June 17.
The process of narrowing down the applicants to finalists will be done by a committee, formed of school board, school administration and community members. School board members formed the committee on Wednesday, but did not reveal the committee members.
Holloway announced last week he would be resigning on May 20 to take a position with the New Mexico Public Education Department in Santa Fe. Holloway will have served eight years as either a superintendent or assistant superintendent of schools and has been offered the position of assistant secretary of Education for Rural Education in the NMPED.
Brooks said during the application process school board officials were able to use the National School Boards Association search to find Holloway. Holloway said he was hired as an assistant superintendent for two years then took over for Lucille King, who retired in 1999. Holloway has the superintendent since July 1, 1999.
School board members said those who are interested in the position can contact the Portales Schools District Central Office at 356-6641. Holloway also offered advice to the school board members when being approached by someone in the community interested in the position.
“Local folks may look to you for information about the job,” Holloway said. “It may be someone you know. My recommendation is they go through the (interview) process. You don’t need to give the impression that you are for (or against) them.”
Holloway said the finalists are the only candidates that should be made public and to not set a number of finalists to narrow it down to because it will restrict the school board members to that number. Holloway also suggested salary be negotiated with the person selected as the new superintendent.
Veronica Garcia, New Mexico secretary of education, said on April 13, once Holloway’s background check has been completed, which could take up to two weeks, the announcement of his new position will become official.