Incoming APS superintendent ready to hit the ground running

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a big transition for Albuquerque Public Schools with a new leader calling the shots soon as Superintendent Scott Elder retires.

It may be the most watched job in New Mexico education, leading the state’s largest school district. “It was kinda a hard decision for me just because I know how much weight comes with the role but at the same time that’s what drew me to it,” said Dr. Gabriella Blakey.

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After 20 years working for Albuquerque Public Schools, Dr. Gabriella Blakey knew she was the woman for the job. “Well if not me then who? So I just felt kinda a calling to put my name in because I’m pretty committed to making a difference to kids in Albuquerque,” said Dr. Blakey.

Blakey is now transitioning in to the role after she was picked for the job back in February. While she plans on continuing down the path APS is currently on, Dr. Blakey says she isn’t afraid of shaking things up. “I think I’ve always had a really good outlook on learning from the outside and then bringing it back to make it work for Albuquerque,” said Dr. Blakey.

That starts with listening to what the kids think they need to succeed. “They have expressed that their bored in school that they don’t feel challenged, that they want to do things differently and so I really want to hear from on what that looks like,” said Dr. Blakey.

She’ll also talk to parents and staff about what is working. “A lot of times things are really working well at a school and then the district comes in and makes a change and that frustrates people because what was working at the school was working for the community,” said Dr. Blakey.

She hopes to change the negative mindset students tend to have towards APS. “They don’t hear positive stuff about their schools or their teachers or their principal and so I think we really need to leverage the people that are doing really good work,” said Dr. Blakey.

This summer, Dr. Blakey says she is ready to hit the ground running. “I don’t feel like I need that learning time or people call it like the honeymoon time of a new position and I don’t really have that because I’ve been here so I am a little anxious to get started,” said Dr. Blakey.

Dr. Blakey will officially take the helm as superintendent on July 1st.

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