Posted at: 08/22/2014 4:46 PM
Updated at: 08/22/2014 5:44 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
The Albuquerque Public Schools District has a new superintendent, but he's only temporary.
The APS School Board voted unanimously Friday morning to appoint longtime APS Operations officer Brad Winter as Interim Superintendent, until a more permanent replacement can be found for the embattled Winston Brooks, who resigned a week ago.
Winter takes over a political hot seat, replacing Brooks, who left with a $350,000 buyout agreement while under investigation for a secret personnel matter. Complicating the process was the one-week appointment of Acting Superintendent Ruben Hendrickson.
Winter becomes Interim Superintendent, replacing an Acting Superintendent, while the district searches for a Superintendent!
"I will be on the job as long as they would like me there," said Winter, who retired from APS just two months ago. "I think we decided up to 8 to 12 months, and I'm very excited about that. We're going to do a lot of community outreach."
"This is a healing time in our district," said Board Member Kathy Korte. "We unanimously agreed that Dr. Winter is the best person to move us forward in this time of healing."
APS has close to 90,000 students and about 6,500 teachers. Running the district is a massive task. School Board members promise a thorough nationwide search that will be as open and transparent as possible.
"We're going to reach out to the community and say, 'what's the profile of the Superintendent we're going to need to head our schools,'" said Board Member Marty Esquivel. "We want to hear from people. We're not going to make that decision in a room. We want to hear from the community. We want it to be open."
"We're not really done with this process," said Board Member Steven Michael Quezada. "This is the beginning of a process and we need a leader that we know we could lead on - and that is Dr. Winter."
"We're all in this together," Winter said. "We want Albuquerque Public Schools to be a very, very strong district. It's important to everybody. It's important to the business community, it's important to our parents and it's important to our children."
Winter is a longtime Albuquerque City Councilor, serving out the remaining year and a half in his current term. He said he had no problem keeping the elective position while serving as APS Operations chief, and sees no problem while working as Interim Superintendent. He said he will consult with school board members and constituents to see what they think he should do.