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Head football coach interviews to begin Thursday

The Artesia Public Schools Board of Education approved the APS calendar for 2016-17 Monday, as presented by Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Student Services John Ross Null.

Null presented the proposed calendar to the board during its regular monthly meeting, reporting that the calendar is essentially the same as that of 2015-16 with few exceptions. The board approved the calendar as presented, making Aug. 15 the first day of school and May 28, 2017, the last day of school for the next school year.

Board member Carolyn Shearman expressed concern with making sure employees had been given a chance to review the calendar before its presentation to the board and was assured by Null that, “through their principals,” they had been.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Thad Phipps sought the board’s approval to accept a proposal from AUI of Albuquerque to replace water and sewer lines between Bulldog Boulevard and Grand Avenue for the proposed new Administration Building.

Phipps reported the existing sewer lines in that area are more than 40 years old, and he is concerned that if they are not replaced before the construction of the building, problems would ensue in the future as communication lines and heating and cooling lines are laid over the sewer. The board approved the $81,555.02 project and instructed Phipps to further inquire as to whether or not the line between Bulldog Boulevard and Bulldog Bowl should be replaced, as well.

Superintendent Dr. Crit Caton announced to the board the retirement of Carrie Caton, health teacher at Zia Intermediate School, at the end of the current school year, after 31 years of teaching. The resignations of Cooper Henderson, head football coach at AHS; Rigo Chavez, food truck driver for the APS cafeteria; and Misti Rodriguez, cafeteria scanner at the Roselawn Elementary School cafeteria were also announced, along with the employment of Lucia Marrufo as an elementary bilingual teacher for Hermosa Elementary School.

On the retirement of Henderson, Caton reported the position was posted one week ago and four current coaches had applied. He said the APS would like to the fill the position “in-house” if any of the applicants prove capable of filling the position.

Caton also reported to the board that he, along with Phipps, Null, Danny Parker and Eric Greer, will be conducting interviews Thursday.

“Coach Henderson left the program in a good place, and we would like to ensure that it continues on that path,” Caton said.

The superintendent further informed the board that as of the 120th day of enrollment, the APS reported 3,972 students, which means the schools will receive approximately $400,000 in growth money for the year.

As part of the construction update, Caton reported construction of the security vestibule at Artesia High School was due to begin Friday, March 18. Caton also reminded the board that at 1 p.m. Friday, April 8, there will be a dedication ceremony at the newly renamed Estelle H. Yates Auditorium.