Superintendent candidate profiles

Compiled by CNJ staff writer David Irvin

David Briseno is principal at La Casita Elementary.

He is also federal programs director for the district, where he oversees a little more than $3 million in federal grants per year for the schools.

He has spent his entire career — 23 years — in Clovis schools with various titles, including summer school director and director of the bilingual program.

• Bachelor of science degree in elementary education with an endorsement in bilingual education from Eastern New Mexico University.

• Master’s degree in education administration from ENMU
Thoughts on the position: “There’s many challenges that schools in New Mexico are going to face. There’s nothing that we can’t overcome if we just get to work and try to improve what we’ve got.”

He said he will focus on building programs and services that are going to improve student achievement and assist the teachers “in the trenches everyday.”

Ladona Clayton, assistant superintendent for instruction of Clovis schools

She’s been with Clovis schools for 16 years, holding positions such as Title-I Migrant coordinator, director of instruction resource center, Title-I evaluation specialist and bilingual testing coordinator.

Oversees eight departments in her current position, she said.

• Bachelor of arts in education from Eastern New Mexico University with a major in elementary education and minor in bilingual education.

• Master’s degree in education administration (licensed k-12) from ENMU and is working on her doctoral dissertation from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.

Thoughts on the position: “I really believe our connection to staff, parents and the community must become more fluid and frequent. In order to meet the challenges of No Child Left Behind, it is absolutely imperative that we strengthen partnerships with parents and community members to enhance student learning.”

William Reents, superintendent of Tucumcari schools

He has been at Tucumcari for about three years and said he has more than of 30 years of experience as administrator at public and private schools.

• Bachelor’s degree in history and education from Chadron State College in Nebraska

• Master’s degree in education administration from LaSalle University.

• Doctorate in education administration from LaSalle.

Thoughts on the position: “First you need to go in and interview (the district personnel) and see what the needs are. It’s tough to be a superintendent today; you have a lot of bosses to satisfy, and you try to meet all the needs of the students attending your schools.”

Communication is key to success, he said.

Rhonda Seidenwurm, deputy superintendent of instruction for Las Cruces public schools

She was a regional superintendent for the Albuquerque Public Schools and a principal at every level, she said.

• Bachelor’s degree in English from Arkansas State University.

• Master’s degree in English from Arkansas State.

• Doctorate in educational Leadership from the University of Mississippi.

Thoughts on the position: She said the superintendent is supposed to focus district resources toward the district mission.

“I would want to come in and ask those who are intimately involved in the district to assist me with what the district’s strengths and needs are. I would ask two questions: What is really good about this place that you don’t want messed up? And what is needed here that I can help with?”

Andy Sweet, former Clovis High School principal and current Clovis High math teacher.

He was principal at Clovis High from 1998 to 2004. He’s in his eighth year with the district.

He also spent a year as principal at Portales High School, was an assistant principal at Clovis High School, an assistant superintendent for personnel and curriculum for Aztec municipal schools and principal of Aztec High School.

• Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in computer science and physical education (with a coaching emphasis) from Eastern New Mexico University
• Master’s degree in education administration from ENMU.

Thoughts on the position: “I think you have a wealth of educational and experiential backgrounds within the district, and I think a successful leader taps into those and finds a way to use them to empower and enable individuals to lead; in so doing you can take the district in the direction it needs to go.”