Fort Sumner school board approves hire of new superintendent

By Alisa Boswell
Staff writer

The Fort Sumner Municipal Schools Board of Education reached a decision this week to approve the hire of a new superintendent.

Freda Daugherty, currently the superintendent of the Springer school district, was chosen from three finalists, which included Lovington High School Principal Robert Brown and Farwell Junior High Principal Jimmy Mace.

The fourth finalist, Fort Sumner High School Principal Sean Wootton withdrew his application a few days prior to the decision, saying he decided he’s happy where he’s at.

Wootton has been serving as interim superintendent since June 23.

“I just feel my current strengths and capacity are best served where I am now,” Wootton said. “I really like being with the kids. I like having that relationship with teachers where we can sit down in the same office and work on things.”

School board President Cody West said there were originally nine candidates for the position.

He said Daugherty stood out among the candidates because of her familiarity and understanding with rural school districts.

“She was a little more accustomed to small town life and already has experience in a  school district our size and is familiar with issues we might face (as a smaller district),” West said. “She’s a really a strong individual and she stands by the principles and the rules and her strong character really stood out in the interview.”

Daugherty has 11 years teaching experience and seven years of administration experience, which include six years as a principal and one year as a superintendent.

Daugherty said four of her years in administration were served in Colorado schools.

She said she was interested in Fort Sumner because of the district’s progressive attitude towards education.

“I most look forward to the open communication. They’ve been very welcoming and very forth right so far,” Daugherty said. “I’m impressed with their report card grades. I look forward to being part of the team with what they are already doing with their progressive attitude towards education and athletics.”

Daugherty said whether there is anything in the district she can improve upon will be answered by delving into the job.

“I don’t want to fix it if it’s not broken,” she said of any aspect of the district. “It’s clear with their SAT and report card scores that they are doing something right.”