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Board identifies possible search consultants; Chad Cole to return to RISD

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RISD Construction Coordinator Mac Rogers, addressing the school board Tuesday night, says indications are good that funding for the design of Del Norte Elementary School will be approved by a state council in July. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Three groups are under consideration as consultants in the search for a new superintendent for the Roswell Independent School District.

During its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, the Board of Education talked to three different consultants briefly by phone to ask them to explain their ideas for how to conduct a search.
The board’s discussion about those conversations and their decision whether to select a consultant did not occur by press time.
The school district has been without a permanent superintendent since the resignation of Tom Burris in February, weeks after elections resulted in new board members who were openly critical of his performance. He cited his desire to spend time with family and his eligibility for retirement. Interim Superintendent Susan Sanchez, a RISD teacher and administrator for decades, has been serving Burris’s resignation and has indicated her intention to apply for the superintendent’s position.
The three consulting groups under consideration are Paul and Associates, a sole proprietorship run by Dr. Linda Paul, a former superintendent with the Aztec Municipal School District in New Mexico; Dr. Gloria Rendon and Dr. Hugh Prather of the New Mexico School Boards Association, who are also former superintendents; and a four-member out-of-state group consisting of educator leadership consultants Annette Brinkman, Paul Shepherd, Ellen Williams and a human resource specialist.
In other matters at the meeting, the board heard an update about the Del Norte Elementary School construction project.
RISD Construction Coordinator Mac Rogers told board members that he is hopeful that the Public Schools Capital Outlay Council, which meets in July 27, will approve funding for the design of the $22 million project.
The construction project entails building an entirely new school to replace the existing structure at 2701 N. Garden Ave., built in 1958. The state is expected to pay 73 percent of the cost of the project, while the district will pay the remaining 27 percent.
Rogers told the board that the council declined a district request to expedite funding during its last meeting but did approve the scope of the project. He said indications are good, though, that funding will be approved at the July meeting.
Del Norte, which serves about 500 students, is ranked as the No. 1 public K12 school facility in need of construction by the New Mexico Public Schools Facility Authority.
The meeting also included an announcement of new personnel appointments, including the return of Chad Cole to an assistant superintendent position. Cole resigned as assistant superintendent of finance and operations in June 2016 after 11 years with the district to join Pioneer Bank as its senior vice president and chief financial officer.
A presentation about career and college course planning at local high schools also was made. The Career College Readiness Pathways allow students to identify and begin study for career goals early and either to plan for college better or to receive training and employability certificates that will allow them to enter the field upon high school graduation.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.