Española Schools Superintendent Resigns

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Espanola schools Superintenent Bobbie Guttierez (left) and School Board President Pablo Lujan (right) at Wednesday's meeting prior to entering the closed executive session. Phot by Robert Naranjo with the Valley Daily Post

Española Schools Superintendent Resigns

By ROBERT NARANJO

At the tail end of the Wednesday’s Espanola School Board meeting the School Board came out of an executive session and announced the resignation of Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez. Gutierrez’s seat was empty.

Prior to going into the closed executive session the school board and Gutierrez had heard public testimony from a large number of community members who came to speak to the Board in support of school district staff. Some speakers were there to support Coach Richard Martinez while others lauded praise on Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez. Following nearly an hour of public testimony the Board into executive session as per NM statute, for discussion of personnel matters.

Gutierrez was originally appointed to the role as Interim Superintendent less than a year ago, on April 28 when the School Board selected her as a successor to Danny Trujillo who was terminated by the board. Last summer Gutierrez was named to the position in a full time capacity and her contract was renewed for a full year on Feb. 14.

Before Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez entered the executive session, she was asked why there was a mixed bag of speakers, some supporting Coach Martinez and some speaking for her, the sitting superintendent. Gutierrez then confirmed that the executive session was for the School Board to discuss her position.

After the Board came back from a 90-minute executive session, Board President Pablo Lujan announced that Gutierrez had submitted a letter of resignation. The Board then split on a vote whether to accept the resignation leaving Lujan to break the tie with a Yes vote. Board members voted as follows: President Pablo Lujan (YES), Vice-President Lucas Fresquez (YES), Annabelle Almager (YES), Yolanda Salazar (NO), Ruben Archuleta (NO). Gutierrez’s resignation will be effective May 6, 30 days from her resignation.

Following the announcement of Gutierrez’s resignation the School Board released a statement from Board President Pablo Lujan

The School Board would like to thank Bobbie for her service to the District,” said Board President Pablo Lujan.  “Superintendent Gutierrez filled in when we needed immediate help stabilizing the management of the District.  We all wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

“I am grateful for the Board having given me the opportunity to serve the District, its students, parents and staff,” said Superintendent Gutierrez in the same statement.  “Espanola is full of kind and wonderful people who rely upon our schools to increase the educational opportunities for our students. I will miss the talented staff and wish to thank the community for your support of the schools.”

Board members were asked after the meeting why the Superintendent resigned so soon after the Board renewed her contract and whether her resignation had anything to do with the controversy surrounding the district placing Coach Richard Martinez on administrative leave.

Coach Martinez who in March led the EVHS boys basketball team to a state championship is currently on paid administrative leave while the district investigates a personnel matter.

 

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