Valentino's resignation represented the fastest departure of any superintendent in APS's more than 120-year history
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APS will also pay Valentino’s health, vision and dental insurance through Oct. 31, and it will pay his $240,000-a-year salary through Oct. 1, according to the settlement agreement released Monday morning. Effective immediately, Valentino has no responsibilities or duties as superintendent.
The embattled school district’s latest personnel nightmare ended a little after 9:30 Monday morning when the board announced that Valentino had agreed to resign from the job he had held for a little more than two months. The announcement came after the seven-member APS board met nearly 12 hours behind closed doors over three days to discuss Valentino’s future.
The board named 38-year APS veteran Raquel Martinez Benavides Reedy as acting superintendent and said it would conduct a search for a new superintendent. It did not say when it hopes to hire a new leader for the school district. Reedy said she will work to ensure that APS’s 88,000 students continue to get a quality education. She started with APS in 1977.
Valentino’s resignation represented the fastest departure of any superintendent in APS’s more than 120-year history. He started the job on June 22 after a 28-year career in education. But things went bad pretty fast. On Aug. 7 he texted district CFO Don Moya to say he was going after Moya for “running roughshot” at the district. Unfortunately for Valentino, the text was meant for Hanna Skandera, secretary of the New Mexico Public Education Department, and was mistakenly sent to Moya.
Moya made the text public and was then placed on administrative leave by Valentino.
Later, it was revealed that Valentino’s pick as his second-in-command at APS, Jason Martinez, started his job before completing a required background check. Then it came out that Martinez had been charged in Colorado with child sexual abuse and with beating up his boyfriend. His trial on the child sexual abuse charges is scheduled for early October.
Those revelations sparked a public outrage, and many in the community wondered if Valentino had known that Martinez had been charged with child sexual abuse and if he had been protecting him. Valentino claimed that he wasn’t aware of the criminal charges against Martinez.