sondra adams pojoaque superintendent

"I know the District,” Sondra Adams said. “I know where we need to improve.”

The Pojoaque Valley School District will have a familiar face filling the position of superintendent.

The Pojoaque Valley School Board unanimously selected the District’s acting superintendent Sondra Adams on March 4 to fill the position on a full-time basis.

“It was just clear that Sondra was the best fit for our District,” Board President Jon Paul Romero said.

Adams said filling in as acting superintendent for the past seven months gave her an advantage in getting hired for the position.

“I think it’s because I know the District,” she said. “I know where we need to improve.”

Adams beat out former Chinle School District associate superintendent Doug Clauschee and former La Resolana Leadership Academy executive director Justina Montoya for the position.

All three were interviewed Feb. 29 by two committees made up of staff and community members, respectively. Each committee wrote down their thoughts on each candidate and gave their opinions to the Board for consideration.

“Each committee had (Adams) ranked number one,” Romero said. “It was unanimous.”

Adams previously worked as the District’s assistant superintendent for five years. She also served stints in administrative positions in the Bloomfield and Santa Fe school districts.

She took over as acting superintendent following the sudden resignation of Melville Morgan from the position last July. While he did not give a specific reason for leaving the District, Board members have said they uncovered previously unknown aspects of his time in charge.

“Anytime you have an administrator leave, you uncover things that were swept under the rug,” Romero said.

Romero said in the months following Morgan’s resignation, he has discovered Morgan was favoring certain employees over others by giving them more overtime.

Board Member Toby Velasquez had said Morgan was not being completely honest with the Board about the District’s financial situation.

Morgan could not be reached for comment before press time.

The details of Adams’ contract, including the number of years and her salary, are still to be negotiated. Romero said he wanted Adams to take some time before coming to the negotiating table.

“We just wanted it to set in that she’s our superintendent,” he said.

In the meantime, Adams will face the tall order of filling multiple administrative vacancies in the District. Pojoaque Valley High School Principal Jennifer Baca and Pojoaque Sixth Grade Academy Principal Steve Baca have both resigned from their positions, with Steve Baca set to leave at the end of the school year.

Pablo Roybal Elementary School Principal Lillian Griego is currently on administrative leave and is also expected to leave her position, Romero said.

Adams said her most pressing concerns at the moment are filling the vacancies and making sure seniors at the High School graduate.

While her title may have changed, Adams said she expects no change at all in show she operates the District day-to-day.

“We’ll just keep moving on,” she said.

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