By Tony A. Archuleta
Truth or Consequences Schools Superintendent Tom Burris told The Herald on Monday, April 2, that he was offered, but turned down the top post at Socorro Consolidated Schools.
Burris was one of five finalists for the open superintendent’s position at Socorro, the El Defensor Chieftain reported in its March 24 issue.
Burris –along with Susan Wilkinson, Vannetta Perry, Lillian Marie Torrez and Randall Earwood– participated in a March 22 candidate forum at Socorro High, followed by round-robin interviews the following day, according to the Chieftain.
Burris told The Herald he was offered the job on March 24, but that he decided to remain with the Truth or Consequences school district.
Burris earns $110,000 annually in his current job. He said the Socorro job paid “quite a bit higher,” adding, “It wasn’t double.”
Burris said he’s staying in Truth or Consequences because he wants to continue building on recent accomplishments.
“One of the hardest things for a superintendent is to get an administrative team together – a highly functioning team, and I got that here,” said Burris. “We have a very committed, cohesive team of administrators who put kids’ education and high expectations together, and I appreciate the team of people I’m working with, and they in turn are working very hard within their buildings.”
As for applying for the Socorro post, only to turn it down, Burris said, “It’s always good to keep your name out there with opportunities, and this one had kind of an emotional attachment.”
Burris –whom the Chieftain noted and the superintendent reiterated was raised on a ranch in Socorro County– was hired by Truth or Consequences Municipal School District in July 2008.
Burris said he was unaware of whom the Socorro district ultimately hired as its new chief.
Wilkinson is a 10-year assistant superintendent and principal at Jemez Valley Schools; Perry is the currently the interim superintendent for Socorro Schools; Earwood is currently the superintendent of schools in El Rito, and Torrez is dean of students and assistant principal at St. Pius X High in Albuquerque.
In its headline, the Chieftain characterized the forum as “poorly attended.”
About 30 individuals applied for the post, according to the Chieftain.