ANTONITO—Claiming she was caught by surprise by the South Conejos Board of Education’s (BOE) non-renewal of her contract, Superintendent Carla Archuleta is exploring her options.
“I didn’t think they would not renew it,” Archuleta said of her contract.
Coming to the district with more than 22 years of experience in public education, she said when hired her goal was to continue making a positive difference in the lives of Pre K-12 students.
The middle school is off the accountability clock and accredited with distinction.
Archuleta is the third superintendent to leave within the past several years. She immediately followed Jeff Bollinger, who replaced Michael Moore and resigned after determining he and the BOE had irreconcilable differences in the way education should take place.
Evaluation of Archuleta’s contract was set Feb. 15 and she says she was still unaware of the board’s dissatisfaction.
In December, BOE Vice President Kristie Duran wanted to use another evaluation tool and Archuleta says she worked with the BOE, then another pre-evaluation was planned and results were promised.
The evaluations were sent via e-mail but weren’t discussed, Archuleta contends.
“It’s just political,” she said.
Last year’s contract was loudly debated in a community meeting before the BOE went into a closed-door session to vote. The tally was four to one in Archuleta’s favor. This time, it was three to two against.
“The community, for the most part, has been very good,” Archuleta says.
Whatever happens at the end of the school year, she concluded, “the parents and students deserve the best education possible.”
While South Conejos is reportedly working with the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) in a search for Archuleta’s replacement, it isn’t listed on the CASB search list.
South Conejos BOE will meet at 6 p.m. March 29.