School district seeks new Valencia principal

By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer

A search is under way for a new elementary school principal in Portales.

Valencia Elementary School Principal Todd Morris resigned from his position, effective June 30, to become principal of James Bickley Elementary School in Clovis.

Portales Schools Superintendent Randy Fowler said Morris gave him a written letter of resignation on May 16.

Fowler noted that several “qualified” applicants have already applied for this administrative position and the district could have the position filled as early as next week.

Valencia, which has fourth and fifth grades, has a student enrollment of about 430.

According to Fowler, eight applications have already been received, mostly from local people, but he said there are also a few out-of-district applicants as well.

“We will begin having interviews for the position next week, and we hope to name a new principal sometime next week or the following week,” Fowler said. “We have had several good applicants, and we feel we can fill this position with a quality person.”

Fowler said that if the search committee feels it can find a qualified applicant within the pool it receives by this week, the position will be filled. If not they will continue to take applications.

Morris served as principal at Valencia for six years. Prior to that, he was a teacher in Clovis. He lives in Clovis, where his wife, Leigh, is an instructional coach at the freshmen campus. He said location was his main reason for accepting the Clovis position.

“I have commuted from Clovis to Portales the whole time I’ve worked at Valencia and now my daughter is getting to be in junior high, and I’d like to be closer to her and her educational process,” Morris said.

Morris is originally from Ruidoso. His wife was born and reared in Clovis.

“God has blessed me with another job closer to home,” said Morris, who will now be in charge of a kindergarten through sixth grade elementary school. “I want to thank the community of Portales for accepting me, taking me in and letting me work with their children for six blessed years.”

While at Valencia, Morris said the school met the state-required Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards this past year. The school also participated in a poster campaign with The Newman Project.

The Portales Board of Education at a special meeting Tuesday awarded a bid for auditor to Roy Woodard and Associates of Portales. They also approved an audit contract with the firm for the 2007-2008 school year.