By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers
PORTALES — A former Portales school teacher was named the district’s superintendent on Monday night.
Randy Fowler, a field service agent for the Region 18 Education Services Center in Midland, Texas, the past six years, said he worked for the Portales school district for 19 years — from 1974 to 1993 — as a coach, teacher, assistant principal at Portales High School and assistant superintendent.
The Portales School Board approved his hiring by a 4-0 vote.
School Board President Inez Rodriguez did not vote because she did not attend the meeting, but officials said Rodriguez also supported Fowler for the job during a tele-conference call on Monday.
“I appreciate the opportunity to come back to Portales and hope that I can do a good job for the school,” Fowler said in a telephone interview from his home on Monday night.
School Board Vice President Rod Savage said Fowler’s ability to work with people set him apart from four other finalists.
Savage said another positive was that Fowler has worked in so many levels of education.
“He has many years of experience in our school system and in the state of New Mexico,” Savage said.
Board member David Brooks said Fowler’s previous experience as a superintendent — from 1993 to 1999 in Eunice — helped earn Brooks’ vote.
“He’s a class act,” Brooks said.
Brooks said all of the finalists interviewed well. Clovis elementary school Principal David Briseno, Elida Superintendent Jack Burch, Muleshoe science teacher Robert Crane and Portales High School Principal Melvin Nusser were the other four candidates.
Fowler said as a field service agent in Midland, he worked as a liaison between superintendents and the Texas Education Agency. He said he spent a lot of time dealing with superintendents’ issues.
“I think it will take some time to get acclimated to the new position,” Fowler said. “I will need some time to get to know the system. I’ve been out of Portales for 12 years. There are some familiar faces, but there are some new faces. There have been a lot of changes on the state and national level.”
Brooks said school officials will call Fowler in the next few days and begin negotiating salary details.
He will succeed James Holloway, who resigned earlier this year to take a job with the state’s publication education department.