SANTA FE, N.M. — Santa Fe Public Schools has turned to an associate to lead the district.
Hilario “Larry” Chavez, the SFPS associate superintendent of athletics, activities and school support, was named the district’s new superintendent on Saturday. He assumes the position July 1, the district said in a news release announcing the choice.
Board members interviewed the finalists Saturday. The board offered Chavez a one-year contract – through June 2022 – at a salary of $150,000 a year, according to the release.
Chavez said he accepted the job “with great enthusiasm.” “My commitment is to continue doing what works: collaboratively sharing best practices, ensuring a unified group of leaders, and addressing the social-emotional needs of staff and students,” he said.
Chavez replaces Veronica Garcia, who announced her retirement in March.
Chavez in his application letter described himself as having more than 12 years of experience in school administration.
According to his employment history, before working for Santa Fe Public Schools since 2017, he was director of education and principal at Sequoyah Adolescent High School in Albuquerque, special education administrator with the state Public Education Department, special education coordinator with the U.S. Department of Defense Virtual High School, and a special education teacher at Rio Rancho Mid High from 2003 to 2008. He holds a master’s in special education from New Mexico Highlands.
“His foundation in special education, his achievements uplifting secondary education and athletics for the district, and his work in collaboration with SFPS’ team to institute reforms that increased the district’s graduation rate to an all-time high all speak to his strong skills and experience,” Board of Education President Kate Noble said in a statement on Saturday.