Five finalists named for superintendent post

By Tony Parra

The committee involved in the search for a new superintendent has narrowed down the selection to five finalists — all with ties to Roosevelt County.
The finalists are David Briseno, Jack Burch, Robert Crane, Randy Fowler and Melvin Nusser.
The next step is to have meet and greet receptions for each of the candidates followed by the interview conducted by the school board. The public will have an opportunity to meet each candidate individually, beginning on June 9. The interviews will take place from June 9 to June 17. The school board hopes to have a new superintendent in place by June 17.
The new superintendent will replace James Holloway, whose last day was Friday. Holloway announced he would be taking the position of assistant secretary of Education for Rural Education in the New Mexico Public Education Department after eight years working as either assistant superintendent or superintendent for the Portales Schools District.

The following are the candidates in alphabetical order:
David Briseno is principal at La Casita Elementary. He is also the federal programs director for the district, where he oversees more than $3 million in federal grants per year for the schools.
Education
• 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: “The superintendent position is very important. It sets the tone for the district and provides leadership and direction to move forward. It’s (Portales Schools District) a great staff.”

Jack Burch is the superintendent of Elida Schools.
Education
• Bachelor of science in social studies from ENMU.
• Master’s degree in Education Administration from ENMU.
Burch could not be reached for further comment Tuesday night.

Bobby Crane, is a science teacher at Muleshoe High School. Crane said he worked for the Portales School District for 28 years as a math teacher, golf coach, football coach, Lindsey principal, assistant principal at Portales High School and athletic director of Portales High School.
Education
• Bachelor of science in physical education from ENMU.
• Master’s degree in Education from ENMU.
Thoughts on the position: “I think the primary role of the superintendent is to be a leader. In the leadership role, the superintendent must get the faculty and staff on the same page.”

Randy Fowler is a field service agent for the Region 18 Education Services Center in Midland, Texas. Fowler said he worked for the Portales Schools District for 19 years from 1974 to 1993 as a coach, teacher, assistant principal at the Portales High School and assistant superintendent of the district.
Education
• Bachelor of science in physical education from ENMU.
• Master’s degree in Education from ENMU.
Thoughts on the position: “The main thing is the superintendent must be a team leader and team player. It is the person that helps the school board meet their goals.”

Melvin Nusser is the Portales High School principal and has been principal for three and a half years. Nusser said he was worked for the Portales Schools District for 20 years as a coach, teacher, assistant principal at the high school and principal at the high school.
Education
• Bachelor of science in Physical Education from ENMU.
• Master’s degree in Administration from ENMU.
Thoughts on the position: “I think we’re getting ready to face challenges in public education with No Child Left Behind. We need to spend time and energy to get all of the students at 100 percent proficiency. I’m honored to even have the opportunity for the position.”