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LCPS narrows superintendent search


Three finalists vying to become the next Superintendent of Las Cruces Public Schools are Dr. Debra Elder, Monica Mesa and Ignacio Ruíz.  

Finalists will now move to the Superintendent Public Forum at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 22, at the Performing Arts Center at Organ Mountain High School and will be broadcast live for those who cannot attendThe Superintendent Public Forum is a moderated question-and-answer session using input and question recommendations from the Superintendent Search Committee – a volunteer group of students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members. 

The public will be invited to a brief meet-and-greet of the candidates immediately following the forum. The Board of Education will then meet separately with each candidate between June 28-30 for final interviews. There is a special meeting of the board at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 1. The selection of the new superintendent could be announced at that meeting.

Elder is the interim superintendent at Los Lunas Schools (LLS). Prior to LLS, Elder led the Office of Innovation and School Choice in the Albuquerque Public Schools district. She holds bachelor’s, master’s and educational specialist degrees from the University of New Mexico and is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership program.  

Mesa has been an educator for 31 years and currently supervises 26 elementary schools as the Assistant Superintendent of East Elementary Schools in Mesa Public Schools, the largest school district in Arizona. Mesa received her master's degree in educational leadership and is pursuing a doctoral degree from Northern Arizona University.  

Ruíz is an assistant superintendent for the Clark County School District in Nevada, the fifth largest school district in the nation. Previously, Ruíz held the position of Director of Language Acquisition in the Tucson Unified School District. He is a graduate of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents National Superintendent Academy and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown.