Alamosa superintendent survives school board evaluation
FOLLOWING a closed-door evaluation of Superintendent Diana Jones, the Alamosa School Board voted unanimously during a special meeting Wednesday to keep her current contract which runs through June 30, 2024, in place.
The school board met in executive session for just over 90 minutes to discuss Jones’ performance. They entered the closed-door meeting after hearing comments of support for Jones from school administrators and teachers and hearing from parents who asked for a change.
“When I’m willing to fight for somebody they’ve earned it, and I want you to know that she’s earned it,” said school district transportation director Scott Honeycutt. Honeycutt had been under fire earlier in the day for making the recommendation to Jones to keep Alamosa schools open during Wednesday’s snow blizzard.
There was speculation across the school district on whether the school board would retain Jones, which prompted some administrators to show up at the special meeting to voice their support for what she’s been able to accomplish since arriving as superintendent in August of 2021.
“She’s a keeper,” said Lori Smith, principal at Alamosa Alternative High.
“We’ve lived all over the country, and Dr. Jones is one of the best superintendents I’ve seen,” said school district nutrition director Gwyn Smith.
There were no public comments made by school board members, but some have been frustrated with Jones and her reliance on the school district attorney. She’s been criticized most recently for not following through with a plan on various building needs within the school district.
Building needs has been a running conversation over the past year, with the school board making temporary accommodations by placing the Alamosa Alternative High School at the former administrative offices on Victoria Avenue and relocating the administrative offices to East Alamosa.
The school board meets again Thursday. This is its regularly scheduled meeting and on the agenda is more discussion on the Alamosa Administrative Offices and the Alamosa Alternative High School.
Jones arrived in Alamosa just ahead of the 2021-22 academic year. Administrators and teachers who spoke in her support reminded school board members of the number of school superintendents the Alamosa School District has had over the past five years, and that it would be a setback to have Jones leave after just two school years.
Jones and Assistant Superintendent Luis Murillo recently completed a strategic action plan and established what they call “A Profile of a Graduate” to model the type of student achievement for which the school district wants to be known.
Jones and Murillo are in the midst of negotiations with the Alamosa Education Association on a four-day school week, which the school district could move into as early as next school year. Jones gets credit from teachers for negotiating a new wage scale that has starting teacher salaries in Alamosa at $40,256, making it the highest beginning teacher salary among San Luis Valley school districts.
Jones and Murillo think the higher-paying teacher salaries, coupled with a four-day school week, will help Alamosa attract more teachers to the school district.