School Board hires superintendent

By Chelle Delaney: QCS Staff

Acting superintendent Aaron McKinney was hired as superintendent of Tucumcari Public Schools by the school board Monday night.

He will receive an annual salary of $96,000.

McKinney replaces William Reents who was terminated in late July by the board and with whom the board came to a resignation and settlement agreement earlier this month. Reents had served as superintendent since July 2002.

McKinney, who was named acting superintendent by the board on June 6, was receiving a monthly wage based on an annual salary of $90,000.

Reents’ annual salary was $101,000. McKinney was assistant superintendent before being named acting superintendent.

Following the board meeting, McKinney said he planned to concentrate on the basics. “We’re going to work on the curriculum, focusing on math, science and language arts.”

Meanwhile, there are ongoing capital projects and facilities to maintain and improve, he said.

“We need to bring the high school up to par,” McKinney said, and to make it more secure. Following a meeting with state and local law enforcement officials, McKinney said the school was was found to be too open and need to be better secured.

Another project is the building of the new Rattler Stadium, he said. The stadium will soon be torn down, except for the framing, he said. New aluminum seating and a new 36-foot press box, with staging for filming, would be installed, McKinney said.
In other business before the board:

l It was agreed to go forward with a proposed bond issue that would generate $3.075 million over four years, beginning in 2007, provided it receives voter approval in February.

“This is the maximum amount without rasing taxes,” said Erik B. Harrigan, associate vice president of RBC Capital Markets, the company which puts together the bond package.

Passage of the bond issue was a recommendation made by the Facilities Steering Committee, lead by Daniel Lopez.
At an earlier meeting with the school board, Lopez said the committee recommended the following priorities for use of the bond funds:
• Safety and security of all schools
• Kitchen renovations at the existing cafeteria
• HVAC at Tucumcari High School
• upgrading lockers and restrooms
• improve landscaping and/or drainage to improve appearance.

• Student Council president Michael Martinez reported that the FAA hosted a District Creed and Quiz contests at the Tucumcari Convention, the student council attended a district meeting in Roswell and DECA attended a leadership conference in Albuquerque. Several groups also participated in community projects such a collecting cans for the needy and serving dinners to assist in fund-JJ8raising projects.