As of 7 p.m. Monday, the San Jon School District has a new administrator . Chosen to replace the exiting principal and superintendent of schools at San Jon was New Mexico native, Craig Stockton.
“I’m really excited about having Mr. Stockton on board,” said San Jon Board of Education member Art White. “I’ve been in on interviewing candidates for a lot of years and this man interviewed better than any others in all those years.”
Stockton who most recently was a principal in Deming, said he is “very happy” to be in San Jon for his first job as a superintendent of schools. “I feel very at home here,” said the new superintendent. “There are a lot of similarities between this and where I grew up.”
Stockton grew up outside Silver City and attended school in a small rural school of less than 90 students.
“When I got old enough to drive, I started attending Silver City High,” said Stockton. After he graduated from Silver City, Stockton attended New Mexico State University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. He then taught for two years in Carlsbad.
He then moved to Deming where he taught and later served as an assistant principal and then as principal at Hofacket Mid-High School. He later transferred to Deming High School and was principal there over the 1,200 student school roughly three times the size of the entire town of San Jon.
The size difference doesn’t worry the new superintendent, however. He said the smaller size of the San Jon School System was one of the points that drew him to the area.
“You never get the chance to know your students there (Deming),” said Stockton about one of the reasons he left the southwest corner of the state saying that as principal he might know the worst students and the very best students, but the bulk of the students in the middle remained strangers to him in Deming. “Here I expect to know every single one of the students,” he said. “The kids come first.”
Stockton said while being a supporter of extracurricular activities, he feels his strengths are in classroom work.
“I seriously consider myself an academic administrator,” said Stockton. “Certainly I support sports and other activities, but a great deal of my focus will be towards academics. After all, we are preparing the child for the future.”
The new San Jon administrator said he and his family, wife Danna and two sons and two daughters, have already begun looking for a permanent residence in the area and has already made an offer on a ranch in the area.
Despite never having lived in Quay County, Stockton who will be making $75,000 per year, said he has a surprising number of relatives in the area. On his wife’s side of the family, he has relatives in House, Amarillo, and Tucumcari.
Board members of the San Jon Board of Education said they were pleased at the way the new administrator has taken command in spite of only being settled into his new office a matter of hours.
“I can already tell,” said School Board President Roger Bowe, “that my job is going to be a lot easier.”