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Zia Intermediate School Principal Larry Combs displays his plaque after being presented with the Success Maker award at Monday’s school board meeting. Combs is joined by APS Superintendent Dr. Crit Caton, far left, award sponsor Tate Branch, second from right, and Camilo Romero, general manager of Tate Branch Auto Group in Artesia. (Teresa Lemon – Daily Press)

The Artesia Public Schools Board of Education recognized Zia Intermediate School principal Larry Combs Monday as the Tate Branch Success Maker for the month of September.

Combs was nominated by one of his teachers who wrote, “Thank you for helping cover my classes as I took my daughter to her first day of kindergarten; thank you for being there for those special moments, it sure makes it easier for me to be a working mom.”

“You always put students first, which is what you told me you would do when you interviewed for the job, and we appreciate that,” APS Superintendent Dr. Crit Caton said.

“I’m just humbled,” Combs said. “I know there were probably many, many more deserving of this than I am, but I thank you very much.”

In other business, the board gave approval to Assistant Superintendent of Operations Thad Phipps to upgrade the network at Bulldog Bowl, the Bulldog Bowl press box, Bulldog Pit, and the Artesia High School Auditorium in the amount of $229,701.30.

Phipps was also given the go-ahead to purchase lighting equipment for the auditorium in the amount of $25,326.15; to accept a proposal to replace seating at Bulldog Pit in the amount of $67,705.93; and to purchase and install an HVAC package unit for Zia Intermediate’s gymnasium in the amount of $28,346.15.

The board also granted permission for Phipps to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for new digital scoreboards at Bulldog Pit; an invitation to bid for security laminate for windows in all front entrances of all security vestibules throughout the district; and to issue an invitation to bid for a five-passenger vehicle for the district.

Caton announced the resignation of Da’Niel Beauchamp, math teacher at Park Junior High, and the employment of Georgianna Dougherty-Gray, library assistant at Hermosa Elementary School.

The next regularly-scheduled meeting of the board will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in the Lowell M. Irby Board Room at the Administration Building, 301 Bulldog Blvd.