One of three finalists to be the next superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools withdrew his name from consideration Monday, leaving two people vying for the job – one a district employee, another an educator from out of state.
Mason Bellamy, Chief of Academics and Schools for Metro Nashville Public Schools bowed out of the contest, leaving Thomas Ahart, a former superintendent from Des Moines, Iowa and current consultant with the Council of the Great City Schools, and Gabriella Durán Blakey, APS’ Chief Operations Officer as the two finalists.
Bellamy, Durán Blakey, and Ahart were named finalists Jan. 16, following extensive virtual interviews and deliberations by the APS board. “We are disappointed, but understand circumstances can change,” APS Board of Education President Danielle Gonzales said of Bellamy’s withdrawal. “We thank Dr. Bellamy for the time, effort, and energy he invested in this process and wish him the best.”
To facilitate community engagement and input, APS has scheduled public forums for January 30. These forums, to be held at the Berna Facio Professional Development Complex at 3315 Louisiana Blvd NE, will allow the public to meet and interact with the finalists.
The forums will include a public town hall featuring a student panel and pre-submitted questions, an APS employee forum with questions pre-submitted by teachers and staff, and a general public forum where the finalists will introduce themselves and address pre-submitted questions.
Anyone interested in submitting questions for the finalists have until January 26, questions can be submitted using this link.
The next superintendent will play a crucial role in implementing APS’ Emerging Better Strategic Plan to enhance academic outcomes for its 68,000 students and lead a district comprising over 140 schools and more than 10,000 employees.
The board will meet again on January 31 to conduct final interviews and select the new superintendent, who will take over from Superintendent Scott Elder upon his retirement at the end of his contract on June 30.