Boyd Is Back
Santa Fe superintendent reflects on Fort Worth offer, staying putLocal NewsTuesday, March 3, 2015
When Joel Boyd was in the throws of deciding whether to stay as superintendent in Santa Fe or leave for a new opportunity, he says he had couldn’t sleep well.
“I was tossing and turning at night,” says Boyd, who three weeks ago was named finalist for the superintendent job in Fort Worth, Texas. “After I made the decision to stay here, I had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time.”
His Fort Worth offer was the elephant in the room often, including when he talked with high school students protesting the PARCC standardized test by walking out of school last week. Boyd told one of the protesting students that he was there to support him.
“And he responded to me, ‘How are you going to support me if you’re not here?’” he says. “My response was, ‘I’m here to support you now.’ But it’s still something I carried with me as I went home that evening.”
Questions about Boyd also mounted in Fort Worth, as at least one school board member said she'd vote against a contract for him. Boyd says the Fort Worth politics didn't weigh in on his decision.
"It's expected," he says. "When you're in public service you should expect criticism. When you're heading to a new place you should expect questions."
Fort Worth looked attractive to Boyd, he says, because it embodied characteristics very similar to Santa Fe when Boyd arrived here two and a half years ago—a community with stagnating education results that’s ready for change.
But Boyd says he’s now committed to staying in Santa Fe through his contract, which lasts for two and a half more years. He points to a list of accomplishments during his tenure that include increased test scores and lowered dropout rates.
Though he's pledging commitment here, that doesn't mean headhunters won't continue calling him.
"I get calls from search firms pretty regularly," he says. "But it's always my decision as to whether I enter the conversation."
Albuquerque Public Schools is looking for a new superintendent, and Boyd says “folks have reached out” to him about it. But he assures he’s not interested in leaving Santa Fe.
"I have offered up any kind of support Santa Fe can provide to Albuquerque as it goes through this process," he says.