By Eric Norwood Jr.
PNT staff writer
Johnnie Cain is the new Superintendent of the Portales Municipal School District. After a stint as a superintendent for Logan Municipal Schools, Cain will bring 20 years of experience in education to Portales. Cain was offered the position at the conclusion of last week’s school board meeting. Cain will be replacing Randy Fowler, who retired in June.
What do you view as the responsibilities of a superintendent?
Although the superintendent has overall administrative authority over the district, I see the role as one of support staff. The superintendent works to support the mission and vision adopted by the board of education. It is the duty of the superintendent to support all district personnel by ensuring that they have the tools, training, and materials they need to do their jobs well, whether in the classroom, the lunchroom, the offices, on the bus, or maintaining the buildings and grounds. The only way these things can be done well, is to ensure the financial stability of the district and work to leverage district funds in a way that meets the needs of the students so that they can be successful during their time in school. I will work closely with the school board to make sure I understand their priorities for the district. I will also work closely with the principals and other administrators in the district to create a shared vision of how every school in the district can become the best schools in the state with the highest school grades possible.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was raised on a ranch near San Jon and never thought I wanted to do anything other than ranch. However, as I grew older other opportunities came along and I made some changes in my life. Becoming an educator came later in life, but I believe the experiences I had before I became a teacher made me a better teacher and have served me well in administration.
We’ll stay with childhood for a minute … what is your favorite cartoon?
Any of the Bugs Bunny or Road Runner cartoons can’t be beat. But I really like any of the new Disney animated movies that come out.
What is your current favorite song?
I have always been a country music fan, but I don’t like what they call country music today, so I don’t have a “current” favorite.
What are you looking forward to the most about working in Portales?
It will be like coming home. My wife and I lived in Portales for 15 years and raised our family there. Our oldest son works for the fire department and lives near Floyd. This move will put us near him and our grandsons. I have always believed Portales had a good school system. My oldest daughter graduated from Portales and had many opportunities she might not have had at another school. She is now a teacher in Texas. I look forward to being a part of something great and helping to make it even better. I look forward to working with what I believe is a very progressive board and staff who want what is best for kids.
If you could have any meal prepared by anybody, who and what would it be?
I would just as soon cook my own meal. I really like rib steak and crab legs.
When did you realize you wanted to work in education?
It happened by accident. My wife decided to go to college after working as a bilingual aid in Floyd. I thought that it would be nice if we both were teachers because the kids and the two of us would have the same time off and we could all be together more. In the job I had, I already trained people and really enjoyed teaching. So I went back to college and completed my degree. I have never regretted the change.
Who is one of your idols?
My grandfather. He was a very caring and intuitive person. I believe he taught me how to care for others and see things from more than one perspective. I have always tried to live to be the man he was and the man I think he would want me to be.
Who is your favorite sports team?
I don’t pay any attention to pro sports except during the playoffs, but do kind of follow the New Mexico college teams. However, I am now a loyal Greyhound and Zias fan. Of course, in high school Class 3A sports there is no other team than the Rams.