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LCPS approves new contract for Superintendent Ruiz


School board members offered praise and thanks to Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Ignacio Ruiz after approving a new contract for the district’s top executive, along with a 10-percent  increase in salary.

At the board’s public meeting on June 18, following a closed session during which they reportedly discussed Ruiz’s evaluation among other topics, the members voted unanimously on an agreement effective through June 30, 2026 for the new superintendent.

Ruiz joined LCPS last summer after serving the Clark County School District in Nevada as an assistant superintendent, and has seen his first school year through on the job in Las Cruces. As the successor to former superintendent Ralph Ramos, Ruiz was initially hired through June 2025 at a salary of $200,000. That increases to $220,000 annually under the new contract, which also includes health insurance benefits similar to other administrators’ and a supplemental retirement plan of $10,000 annually. It takes effect on July 1, replacing the current agreement.

“We are very fortunate to be able to offer you this contract,” board member Robert Wofford said, addressing Ruiz, “and we thank you very much for what you are bringing to our district.” 

Earlier in the meeting, Ruiz had gone over an update to his strategic plan after a school year getting acquainted with district and school staff. 

He also presented results of a “climate and culture survey,” in which 4,532 respondents assessed the school district. Participants included students in middle and high school, staff and parents districtwide and community members. Students were in the majority, at 63 percent of those who participated, and among that group overall satisfaction had increased over 2022, yet still lower than in 2021. There was also a pronounced gap in perceptions among teachers, as compared to students', on the support and encouragement teachers offer as well as relevance of classroom instruction, with teachers rating these positively at a far higher rate. 

Ruiz recommended addressing that gap, describing it as a “disconnect” calling for improved communication as well as professional development focusing on student engagement.

Ruiz also inaugurated a public “state of the district” address last month as a way to present data on the district’s academic performance and goals, although the data he presented applied to the school year prior to his arrival. 

Las Cruces Public Schools, Ignacio Ruiz, public education