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Friday, February 23, 2024

Artesia Public Schools (APS) Superintendent Thad Phipps has announced his intent to retire at the start of the upcoming school year

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By BRIENNE GREEN

Daily Press Editor

Phipps’ decision, announced last week during a special meeting of the APS Board of Education, comes after just one year at the helm of the district. His hiring was announced Jan. 14, 2022, and his first day as superintendent was July 1, 2022.

Phipps issued a communication to APS staff on the evening of July 5 and made a public statement last Thursday, expressing his appreciation for “the opportunity to love, guide and educate your children.”

“They are so important to me,” Phipps wrote. “Artesia is a wonderful place to live because we love and take care of one another. Love is what binds us all together. I pray God’s continued blessings on our community. Thank you for always loving, encouraging and supporting me.”

APS Board President Jeff Bowman said the school board is “thankful for Thad’s many years of service as a teacher, coach, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent.”

“Thad’s exemplary work ethic, compassion and dedication to his work have enabled him to positively influence and educate our students,” Bowman said in a statement on behalf of the board. “As superintendent, Thad has provided great leadership for our district and for education in New Mexico. The school board is especially appreciative of Thad’s significant and tireless efforts to constructively influence state legislation and regulation of our schools and to advocate for the principles and beliefs of our community. 

“When no one else was willing to make a statement or to take a stand at the state level, he had the courage and the will to stand alone to represent our ideals and beliefs. The Board will miss Thad, but we know that his servant’s heart will lead him to other beneficial roles in our community.”

During Monday’s regularly scheduled July meeting of the APS board, Assistant Superintendent of Transportation and Operations Cody Skinner received approval of:

• an estimate for district-wide HVAC filters at a cost of $25,961.48.

• a CES proposal from CDW-G for managed print services for the district’s printers at a cost of $53,100. This is an automated services that reduces costs by only purchasing ink cartridges when the printers require them, which has reduced the stockpiling of cartridges at school sites.

During the June school board meeting, Finance Director Clint Taylor received approval for the implementation of a Temporary Student Loan Education Assistance Program. Through the program, the district will allocate $250,000 in ESSR III funds, to be divided by the number of full-time employees that apply for assistance.

Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Danny Parker received approval for Illuminate Education annual software licensing at a cost of $29,405.80, and Skinner received approval of:

• a CES proposal from CDW-G for Microsoft annual licensing at a cost of $30,463.10.

• a quote from B&H for the purchase of 25 cameras and accessories for Park Junior High School photography classes at a cost of $20,012.50.

• cafeteria bids received for bread, fruits and vegetables, food and kitchen supplies.

• a request to dispose of the district’s electronic waste. Components that can be used for spare parts were removed from the items, which were subsequently disposed of during Artesia Clean & Beautiful’s annual eWaste Collection.

• the 2023-24 Transportation Contract with Kaiser Inc. for “to and from” transportation.

• a CES proposal from Starr Janitorial to sand and refinish the basketball and volleyball courts at Artesia High School (AHS), Park and Zia Intermediate School at a cost of $53,560.56.

• a CES proposal from Dekker Perich Sabatini for design services for furniture, fixtures and equipment for the AHS Career Technical Education (CTE) Building No. 1 at a cost of $35,240.

• a CES proposal from Dekker Perich Sabatini for design services for construction administration for the AHS CTE Building No. 1. These services were not part of the original design service proposal. Construction administration services will be provided by Dekker Perich Sabatini as the prime contractor, along with Smith Engineering (civil), Bridgers & Paxton (MEP) and Jess Holmes (architectural and daily site visits) at a cost of $257,423.66.

• a CES proposal from Smith Engineering for testing services for AHS CTE Building No. 1 at a cost of $72,971.61.

• a CES proposal from Security USA for the district’s annual Access Control Service Agreement at a cost of $29,131.87.
During the May meeting of the board, Taylor received approval to accept a quote from Tyler Technologies for software that would allos the district to monitor the time and attendance of its non-certified staff. Staff members will clock in and out of work via a mobile app, and the app’s geofence will ensure staff members are on the grounds of their assigned building before they can check in or out.

Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education and Federal Programs Tammy Davis received approval of a quote in the amount of $55,701 for IXL software for 3,025 students.

Skinner received approval of:

• a quote from PVT for Barracuda Email Protection licensing and software at a cost of $39,950.52. The quote includes an advanced package to allow for phishing protection and remediation.

• a CES quote from CDW-G for two Cisco Firepower Firewalls for Edge filtering, to be installed at PVT Headend. The quote includes three years of Smartnet, AMP and DC power supplies at a cost of $103,555.98.

• a quote from IES Communications for annual MediaSite Factory tech support and services to go through each piece of audio/visual equipment to ensure it is functioning properly at a cost of $29,638.02. Annual maintenance of the equipment has not been performed since July 5, 2017.

• a quote from Office Depot for copy paper at a cost of $42,253.50.

• a CES quote from CDW-G for Lightspeed internet filtering at a cost of $29,044.23.

On Monday, Bailey Rutherford was recognized as a New Mexico School Board Association Scholarship recipient. In June, Artesia’s new state FFA representatives — FFA State President Jordan Hamill and District President/State Vice President Bryce Bain — were recognized, and during the May meeting of the APS board, recognition was given to the state FFA winners and students honored through Watch Us Grow and the NMSBA Excellence in Student Achievement program.

During Monday’s meeting, Phipps announced the resignations of Kamiley Marquez, Grand Heights Early Childhood Center SPED assistant, Terri Pattillo, Roselawn Elementary School SPED teacher, Jessica Hope, Zia language arts teacher, Christopher Garcia, cafeteria delivery driver, and Ross Gabaldon, maintenance; and the hiring of Christy Morgan, Kinsey Munoz, Sarah Heine and Aaron Harrelson, Roselawn SPED assistants, Valentine Diaz and Angela Colon-Escobar, Roselawn SPED teachers, Ammie Thacker, Zia language arts teacher, Mia Martinez, Zia SPED assistant, Eliana Figueroa, Park SPED teacher, Kaccy Garthwaite and Brittany Archuleta, AHS SPED assistants, Luke Smith and Sabrina Roybal, district SPED assistants, Christian Nielsen, maintenance, and Alfonso Ballard, cafeteria delivery driver.

During the June meeting, Phipps announced the resignations of Emily Baldwin, AHS English teacher, Elizabeth Clough, Park English teacher, Erika Farmer, Zia science teacher, Samantha Hammer, Hermosa Elementary School instructional assistant, Michaela Phipps, Grand Heights, Zia and Park SPED instructional assistant, and Monica Rodriguez, Yeso Elementary School SPED teacher; and the hiring of Zane Brooks, AHS SPED inclusion teacher, Madison Callaway, Yucca Elementary School teacher, Monica Frescas, Park bilingual and Spanish teacher, Ross Gabaldon, APS Maintenance groundskeeper, Chris Garcia, cafeteria delivery driver, Charles Granger, AHS custodian, Angelica Guin, school nurse, Cora Harcrow, Central Elementary School teacher, Kaitlyn Hirst, Roselawn Elementary School teacher, Ciadary Rodriguez, Park Spanish teacher, Camren Saxon, APS Maintenance groundskeeper, and Shannon Vermillion, AHS SPED inclusion teacher.

During the May meeting, Phipps announced the resignations of Roy Arthur, AHS automechanics teacher, Kamaria Frost, Zia sixth-grade English teacher, Jonathan Kelly, Park algebra teacher, Lucia Marrufo, Park Spanish teacher, Monica Reyes, Powerschool/STARS coordinator, Mackenzie Schafer, Zia SPED instructional assistant, and Brittany Valenzuela, AHS SPED instructional assistant; and the hiring of Kevin Baggerly, Yeso and Roselawn music teacher, Samantha Davis, Yeso nurse, Robert Fernandez, Park history teacher and coach, Bianca Gonzalez-Lopez, Roselawn bilingual teacher, Angelica Guin, nurse, William Hays, Zia assistant principal, Abby Jones, Zia counselor, Brittany Johnson, Yeso SPED instructional assistant, Zachary Martinez, social worker, Angela Montgomery, Park D-level teacher, Derek Montoya, Park PE teacher, Scott Nell, Powerschool/STARS coordinator, Diana Garcia Rivera, Park custodian, Ana Ruvalcaba, Grand Heights D-level SPED assistant, Elexis Towler, Grand Heights SPED instructional assistant, Amy Walker, Central third-grade teacher, Cydnee Widner, Park science teacher and head cheer coach, Lance Widner, Park woodworking teacher, and Dania Vega, Yeso fourth-grade teacher.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the school board will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14. The board was also reminded that the Bulldog Beginnings new employee breakfast will be held at 7 a.m. Monday, Aug. 7, at the Administration Building.

Artesia Public Schools (APS) Superintendent Thad Phipps has announced his intent to retire at the start of the upcoming school year.

Phipps’ decision, announced last week during a special meeting of the APS Board of Education, comes after just one year at the helm of the district. His hiring was announced Jan. 14, 2022, and his first day as superintendent was July 1, 2022.

Phipps issued a communication to APS staff on the evening of July 5 and made a public statement last Thursday, expressing his appreciation for “the opportunity to love, guide and educate your children.”

“They are so important to me,” Phipps wrote. “Artesia is a wonderful place to live because we love and take care of one another. Love is what binds us all together. I pray God’s continued blessings on our community. Thank you for always loving, encouraging and supporting me.”

APS Board President Jeff Bowman said the school board is “thankful for Thad’s many years of service as a teacher, coach, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent.”

“Thad’s exemplary work ethic, compassion and dedication to his work have enabled him to positively influence and educate our students,” Bowman said in a statement on behalf of the board. “As superintendent, Thad has provided great leadership for our district and for education in New Mexico. The school board is especially appreciative of Thad’s significant and tireless efforts to constructively influence state legislation and regulation of our schools and to advocate for the principles and beliefs of our community. 

“When no one else was willing to make a statement or to take a stand at the state level, he had the courage and the will to stand alone to represent our ideals and beliefs. The Board will miss Thad, but we know that his servant’s heart will lead him to other beneficial roles in our community.”

During Monday’s regularly scheduled July meeting of the APS board, Assistant Superintendent of Transportation and Operations Cody Skinner received approval of:

• an estimate for district-wide HVAC filters at a cost of $25,961.48.

• a CES proposal from CDW-G for managed print services for the district’s printers at a cost of $53,100. This is an automated services that reduces costs by only purchasing ink cartridges when the printers require them, which has reduced the stockpiling of cartridges at school sites.

During the June school board meeting, Finance Director Clint Taylor received approval for the implementation of a Temporary Student Loan Education Assistance Program. Through the program, the district will allocate $250,000 in ESSR III funds, to be divided by the number of full-time employees that apply for assistance.

Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Danny Parker received approval for Illuminate Education annual software licensing at a cost of $29,405.80, and Skinner received approval of:

• a CES proposal from CDW-G for Microsoft annual licensing at a cost of $30,463.10.

• a quote from B&H for the purchase of 25 cameras and accessories for Park Junior High School photography classes at a cost of $20,012.50.

• cafeteria bids received for bread, fruits and vegetables, food and kitchen supplies.

• a request to dispose of the district’s electronic waste. Components that can be used for spare parts were removed from the items, which were subsequently disposed of during Artesia Clean & Beautiful’s annual eWaste Collection.

• the 2023-24 Transportation Contract with Kaiser Inc. for “to and from” transportation.

• a CES proposal from Starr Janitorial to sand and refinish the basketball and volleyball courts at Artesia High School (AHS), Park and Zia Intermediate School at a cost of $53,560.56.

• a CES proposal from Dekker Perich Sabatini for design services for furniture, fixtures and equipment for the AHS Career Technical Education (CTE) Building No. 1 at a cost of $35,240.

• a CES proposal from Dekker Perich Sabatini for design services for construction administration for the AHS CTE Building No. 1. These services were not part of the original design service proposal. Construction administration services will be provided by Dekker Perich Sabatini as the prime contractor, along with Smith Engineering (civil), Bridgers & Paxton (MEP) and Jess Holmes (architectural and daily site visits) at a cost of $257,423.66.

• a CES proposal from Smith Engineering for testing services for AHS CTE Building No. 1 at a cost of $72,971.61.

• a CES proposal from Security USA for the district’s annual Access Control Service Agreement at a cost of $29,131.87.
During the May meeting of the board, Taylor received approval to accept a quote from Tyler Technologies for software that would allos the district to monitor the time and attendance of its non-certified staff. Staff members will clock in and out of work via a mobile app, and the app’s geofence will ensure staff members are on the grounds of their assigned building before they can check in or out.

Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education and Federal Programs Tammy Davis received approval of a quote in the amount of $55,701 for IXL software for 3,025 students.

Skinner received approval of:

• a quote from PVT for Barracuda Email Protection licensing and software at a cost of $39,950.52. The quote includes an advanced package to allow for phishing protection and remediation.

• a CES quote from CDW-G for two Cisco Firepower Firewalls for Edge filtering, to be installed at PVT Headend. The quote includes three years of Smartnet, AMP and DC power supplies at a cost of $103,555.98.

• a quote from IES Communications for annual MediaSite Factory tech support and services to go through each piece of audio/visual equipment to ensure it is functioning properly at a cost of $29,638.02. Annual maintenance of the equipment has not been performed since July 5, 2017.

• a quote from Office Depot for copy paper at a cost of $42,253.50.

• a CES quote from CDW-G for Lightspeed internet filtering at a cost of $29,044.23.

On Monday, Bailey Rutherford was recognized as a New Mexico School Board Association Scholarship recipient. In June, Artesia’s new state FFA representatives — FFA State President Jordan Hamill and District President/State Vice President Bryce Bain — were recognized, and during the May meeting of the APS board, recognition was given to the state FFA winners and students honored through Watch Us Grow and the NMSBA Excellence in Student Achievement program.

During Monday’s meeting, Phipps announced the resignations of Kamiley Marquez, Grand Heights Early Childhood Center SPED assistant, Terri Pattillo, Roselawn Elementary School SPED teacher, Jessica Hope, Zia language arts teacher, Christopher Garcia, cafeteria delivery driver, and Ross Gabaldon, maintenance; and the hiring of Christy Morgan, Kinsey Munoz, Sarah Heine and Aaron Harrelson, Roselawn SPED assistants, Valentine Diaz and Angela Colon-Escobar, Roselawn SPED teachers, Ammie Thacker, Zia language arts teacher, Mia Martinez, Zia SPED assistant, Eliana Figueroa, Park SPED teacher, Kaccy Garthwaite and Brittany Archuleta, AHS SPED assistants, Luke Smith and Sabrina Roybal, district SPED assistants, Christian Nielsen, maintenance, and Alfonso Ballard, cafeteria delivery driver.

During the June meeting, Phipps announced the resignations of Emily Baldwin, AHS English teacher, Elizabeth Clough, Park English teacher, Erika Farmer, Zia science teacher, Samantha Hammer, Hermosa Elementary School instructional assistant, Michaela Phipps, Grand Heights, Zia and Park SPED instructional assistant, and Monica Rodriguez, Yeso Elementary School SPED teacher; and the hiring of Zane Brooks, AHS SPED inclusion teacher, Madison Callaway, Yucca Elementary School teacher, Monica Frescas, Park bilingual and Spanish teacher, Ross Gabaldon, APS Maintenance groundskeeper, Chris Garcia, cafeteria delivery driver, Charles Granger, AHS custodian, Angelica Guin, school nurse, Cora Harcrow, Central Elementary School teacher, Kaitlyn Hirst, Roselawn Elementary School teacher, Ciadary Rodriguez, Park Spanish teacher, Camren Saxon, APS Maintenance groundskeeper, and Shannon Vermillion, AHS SPED inclusion teacher.

During the May meeting, Phipps announced the resignations of Roy Arthur, AHS automechanics teacher, Kamaria Frost, Zia sixth-grade English teacher, Jonathan Kelly, Park algebra teacher, Lucia Marrufo, Park Spanish teacher, Monica Reyes, Powerschool/STARS coordinator, Mackenzie Schafer, Zia SPED instructional assistant, and Brittany Valenzuela, AHS SPED instructional assistant; and the hiring of Kevin Baggerly, Yeso and Roselawn music teacher, Samantha Davis, Yeso nurse, Robert Fernandez, Park history teacher and coach, Bianca Gonzalez-Lopez, Roselawn bilingual teacher, Angelica Guin, nurse, William Hays, Zia assistant principal, Abby Jones, Zia counselor, Brittany Johnson, Yeso SPED instructional assistant, Zachary Martinez, social worker, Angela Montgomery, Park D-level teacher, Derek Montoya, Park PE teacher, Scott Nell, Powerschool/STARS coordinator, Diana Garcia Rivera, Park custodian, Ana Ruvalcaba, Grand Heights D-level SPED assistant, Elexis Towler, Grand Heights SPED instructional assistant, Amy Walker, Central third-grade teacher, Cydnee Widner, Park science teacher and head cheer coach, Lance Widner, Park woodworking teacher, and Dania Vega, Yeso fourth-grade teacher.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the school board will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14. The board was also reminded that the Bulldog Beginnings new employee breakfast will be held at 7 a.m. Monday, Aug. 7, at the Administration Building.

Brienne Green
Daily Press Editor

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