LAPS Releases Details On Superintendent Search

LAPS News:

The Los Alamos Public School Board is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Kurt Steinhaus as the new superintendent of schools. 

A native of Los Alamos, Dr. Steinhaus brings a wealth of experience to the position. He started his education career as a classroom teacher where he taught for 11 years.

He then served 11 years with the New Mexico Public Education Department where he also attended evening and weekend graduate school to earn a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Learning. 

For the last 15 years, Dr. Steinhaus has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory on education, economic development and community giving. He has been heavily involved in supporting local education and the public schools, including having served as president of the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation.

New Los Alamos Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kurt Steinhaus. Courtesy photo

“I want to thank the School Board for this opportunity to serve the students, parents, teachers and greater community of Los Alamos Schools,” Dr.Steinhaus said. “We are all about students and community. I have already talked with Dr. (Gene) Schmidt about working together on a transition plan. Please join me in recognizing Dr. Schmidt for his hard work and dedication to Los Alamos. I look forward to working with all of the great people that are a part of Los Alamos Public Schools.”

Dr. Steinhaus’ selection was the culmination of a comprehensive, nationwide search for candidates. The LAPS Board endeavored to ensure a thorough and collaborative search process, including providing numerous venues for community involvement and input.

The process officially started in September 2015, when the School Board formally adopted a search strategy. From there, a search firm, Ray and Associates, was hired and six advisory committees were established. Multiple public, open-mic, town hall meetings were held with the search firm, the committees and the community. The Board also received input in the form of community surveys, both in English and Spanish.

The advisory committees consisted of community leaders, school district office personnel, principals, teachers, classified staff and parents. These committees met many times to provide input and assist in setting the qualifications and criteria for candidates, in addition to participating in interviews for the final candidates.

The community sought a superintendent who met the following credentials:

  • Proven leadership; demonstration of setting vision and goals for a complex organization and accomplishing objectives set forth to achieve those goals;
  • Experience as an educational leader in a community with a strong emphasis on quality education;
  • Classroom experience;
  • Demonstrated effective communication and interactions with employees, families, community members, board members and stakeholders;
  • High level management in the educational field;
  • Reputation of honesty and integrity in the community; and
  • Ability to work effectively with NMPED.

Ray and Associates received a total of 64 applications from 11 states. These were pared down by the search firm to 14 highly detailed applications, including video clips of answers to a small set of pertinent questions. The 14 applications were evaluated by the acting Los Alamos School Board, the newly elected members of the Board, and the heads of each of the committees. The number of candidates were then narrowed to six semi-finalists, who were interviewed by Skype. Out of those six, two finalists were selected to interview and present to the various committees, the Board, LAPS students and public.

While there were many wonderful candidates, this rigorous process enabled the Board to select the most qualified person to fulfill the role of superintendent for the community. The Board would like to express great appreciation and thanks to the committee members and community participants for their time and commitment. Their input was instrumental in this process and was critical to its success.

Dr. Steinhaus truly stood out among the applicants, with the exceptional skills and qualities that the community requires and values in the position of superintendent. Join in welcoming the new superintendent of LAPS, Dr. Kurt Steinhaus.

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