The first step in the hunt for a new superintendent for Belen Consolidated Schools is complete.

When the application period closed on March 15, the district had received 17 applications from administrators as close as right here in Belen to as far away as Washington state.

The applicants are:

• Arturo Candelaria, of Albuquerque, a teacher at Belen High School, with an EdS in education administration.

• Kelt Cooper, of Sapello, N.M., the former superintendent of Las Vegas City Schools, with a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

• Thomas Graves, of Abingdon, Va., an educational consultant with a Ph.D. in educational foundations, leadership and technology.

• Stephen Howden, of Rio Rancho, a former achievement coach/guidance counselor, with an EdD of education.

• Marvin MacAuley, of Vadito, N.M., the superintendent of Penasco Independent Schools, with a Master of Arts degree in education administration.

• Lester McCormick, of LaGrande, Ore., a consultant, with an EdS in education administration.

• Dr. Deborah Mitchell-Gerold, of Mountainair, is the principal of Mountainair Elementary School, with an EdD in educational leadership.

• Richard Perea, of Santa Rosa, is the superintendent of Santa Rosa Consolidated Schools/Cooperative Education Services, with a Master of Arts degree in education administration.

• Greg Rockhold, of Hobbs, is an assistant principal/athletic director, with a Ph.D. in educational leadership.

• Lawrence Sanchez, of Los Lunas, is the principal at Belen Middle School, with a Master of Business Administration degree in educational leadership.

• Jason Seybert, of Johnstown, Colo., is an assistant superintendent of Weld School District, with a Master of Arts degree in educational leadership.

• Anthony Sorola, of Lufkin, Texas, is an assistant superintendent of administrative services, with a Ph.D. in educational administration.

• Yvonne Tabet, of Los Lunas, is the director of human resources for Belen Consolidated Schools, with a Master of Arts degree in counseling, with administration licensure.

• Diane Vallejos, of Belen, is the interim superintendent and assistant superintendent of academics for Belen Consolidated Schools, with a Master of Arts degree in special education, with administrative licensure.

• Gerry Washburn, of Yelm, Wash., is the former superintendent of Roseburg Public Schools, with a Ph.D. in educational leadership.

• Thomas White, of Conroe, Texas, is the principal/director of student services, with a Master of Education degree administration.

• Rodney Wright, of Belen, is the Belen High School principal, with a Master of Arts in school administration.

On April 3, all the applications will be screened by a 10-person committee that will recommend finalists by April 9. The finalists will then go through individual interviews with the committee.

During the week of April 15, finalists will undergo a one-on-one interview with the board, during which a public meet and greet will be held to introduce the candidates to the community.

A new superintendent could be selected at the April 23 board of education meeting.

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Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.