On Thursday, it was announced that Tucumcari High School is looking for three teachers to take the place of teachers who have turned in their resignations.
“It’s not that unusual for teacher positions to open up this early,” said Tucumcari Municipal School’s Superintendent William Reents. “I don’t think Tucumcari has had three positions in one school open up this early before, but I’ve known other schools where this has happened.” Reents said that since New Mexico is a “right to work” state, there is nothing to stop a teacher from submitting a resignation.
The three positions that opened up at the high school are a science/biology teaching position, a social studies/history position and a high school English position.
Reents said the biology position opened up because the instructor currently teaching it, Bobby Laird has been working under a special permit until his credentials came through. When they did, Reents said he was further away from his certification than anyone had anticipated.
The Tucumcari superintendent said he expected that something may be found to accommodate Laird, but at this point the opening of the job position was a necessity.
The English position, said Reents, opened up when long-time Tucumcari English teacher Kay Noland submitted her resignation recently.
Reents said Noland had battled cancer last year and most thought she had defeated it. “It was thought to be in remission; however, not long ago, they found more.”
The social studies position was previously taught by Rhonda Guiterrez, who like Laird was teaching in Tucumcari for the first time and who lives in Santa Rosa. Reents said a number of factors apparently went into the teacher’s decision to submit her resignation, not the least of which was the daily trip back and forth to Tucumcari from Santa Rosa.
The Tucumcari superintendent said while the loss of the three teachers will affect the school, there are a number of people in the school system that might well be able to step in.“I’ll admit it is a burden,” said Reents, “but for the most part we do have people in the system who can step up.”