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Opinion: An open letter from Aztec’s incoming schools superintendent


Dear Tiger Community, 

I am honored and humbled to be selected by the Aztec Board of Education to be the next Learning Leader of Aztec Municipal School District. As a result of this selection, I want to introduce myself and assure you that the progress that has been made in the District will not be lost through this coming transition as Superintendent Carpenter and I collaborate. 

I am originally from the Southwest corner of New Mexico –  the small, rural ranching community of Cliff. I am the son of a cattle rancher with a long family history of ranching and farming in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. 

I received my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Life Sciences from New Mexico State University and my Master’s of Education in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University.

As previously mentioned by the Board of Education, I have been a teacher, dean of students, principal, director, performance coach, and educational consultant for a number of districts across the State of New Mexico as well as Texas and California. 

My family and I moved to San Juan County in June of 2017 and this area has become the official home to my wife and I, as well as our two children. 

With regard to the future of the Aztec Municipal School District, I feel the moral and ethical responsibility to make it known that the organization does not belong to one individual. Rather, it is the community of stakeholders – parents, community members, teachers and staff, students, etc. that ought to create the vision for the operation of the organization.

As such, it is my promise to the community that in my first weeks of employment, I will meet with every employee of the Aztec Municipal School District in order to ask each person the following four questions:

1.       What are the practices and initiatives that AMSD do better than any district in the State?

2.       What are the practices and initiatives that AMSD should immediately abandon?

3.       What are the practices and initiatives that AMSD can and should improve upon?

4.       In your opinion, who are the ten people in this community – both internal or external to the organization – that I need to meet with right away?

In addition, the Board of Education and I have committed to undertake a process wherein, as a team, we will evaluate the previously established organizational mission, vision, values and goals in order to determine if these objectives are still relevant to the purpose of the organization and true to the values of the community. 

If not, we will then begin the strategic planning process in which stakeholders from all facets of the community and organization will be invited to participate in determining the non-negotiables in relation to student learning and the profile of the Aztec graduate, set the goals that the community at-large would like for the organization to accomplish with regard to these non-negotiables, and finally, the determination of the organization’s next steps in order to be able to deliver on these wants, desires, and needs of the community. 

I cannot wait to be able to meet each and every one of you – both district employees and community members – as we embark on this collaborative journey for the benefit of our students, staff, community, and future. 

If I know one thing about the amazing people of Aztec it is this: you are never afraid of a challenge and always rise to the occasion. The grit and determination of this community is known throughout the State and Nation and I could not be more proud to be an Aztec Tiger! Thank you for welcoming me into your community and educational partnership. 

Kevin Summers is the incoming superintendent of the Aztec Municipal School District. He is currently the Director of PreK-12 Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for Bloomfield Schools, according to the AMSD website.