Magdalena schools adjusting to budget

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Due to unexpected budget shortfalls, Magdalena Schools Superintendent Mike Chambers is making some significant changes in the schools.

“We did not rehire principals,” Chambers said. “I’m doing it all.”

Students of all grades gather in one of the gyms at the Magdalena School complex to enjoy a Performing Arts Series presentation.

While Chambers will be doing the principals’ jobs as well as his own for the next school year, he has head teachers at each school to back him up. The school district is taking certain classroom teachers and training them up as head teachers, he said.

At the elementary school, Shannon Muño will take the lead. Leslie Clark will be head teacher at the middle school, and Carman Torres will be in the position at the high school.

“They will be part of our administrative team,” he said. “They will be doing some disciplines as well as teacher evaluations and observations.”

Chambers said he will work closely with the school staff on instructional strategy.

“It really was the only recourse we had given our budget issues,” he said.

Magdalena Schools continues to work on the water issue as well, Chambers said. They have received authorization for $300,000 in emergency funds through the Public Schools Finance Authority to set up a water system independent from that of the village of Magdalena.

The schools have an irrigation well they have cleaned and acidized, Chambers said.

The well is now able to provide 180 gallons per minute. Chambers said this is a temporary solution to charge the water system that will be translated to long term with a pump house and storage tank.

“What we are pumping is more than 5,000 gallons a day when school is in session,” Chambers said.

There are a couple of new staff members too, Chambers said. Moving from Socorro schools, Peggy Mitchusson will teach high school math. Teaching food science part time, Marguerite Miller returns to teaching a couple of classes a week.

Classes at Magdalena Schools start on Monday, earlier than usual.

“In order to get the number of days in, it’s just what we end up having to do,” Chambers said. “Other than that, we are trying to figure out how all this stuff is going to come together.

“We are hitting the ground running and have a lot of new stuff coming down.”