The athletic department at Santa Fe Public Schools will expand for the 2019-20 school year.
When that will happen is the key question.
The school district is accepting applications for two athletic supervisors who will oversee the programs at Capital and Santa Fe High, as well as the feeder middle schools into each high school. Larry Chavez, the former district athletic director who is now the assistant superintendent of athletics and activities/school support, said he unveiled a plan to Superintendent Veronica García in July after a search for a districtwide athletic director did not yield an acceptable recommendation.
Chavez said it allowed him to accelerate the process of bringing back on-site supervisors — who do not have official titles yet — that administrators wanted to do.
“It doesn’t matter if they are called coordinators or directors,” Chavez said. “It was always been a discussion within the district to always get back to the traditional way of having site-specific [athletic] administrators.”
Capital’s supervisor also will oversee the middle school athletic programs at Nina Otero Community School, El Camino Real Academy, Ortiz Middle School and Mandela International Magnet School. The duties for the supervisor at Santa Fe High will include oversight of Milagro Middle School plus Gonzales, Aspen and El Dorado community schools
It will bring back an organizational structure SFPS has not had since 2009, when it eliminated the AD posts at Santa Fe High and Capital in order to make up for a $4.5 million shortfall in the budget. Currently, both schools have athletic managers, but they do not have the authority to make administrative decisions regarding athletic programs or recommendations on coaches.
Chavez said the new positions would allow supervisors to have a say in those matters, provided they have the requisite licensure and experience, although hiring and firing of coaches would be a collaborative effort with the new hires, himself and a school administrator.
Salary also will be dependant upon licensure and experience, Chavez added. When Chavez was hired as the district athletic director in 2017, his salary was $80,000.
“We’ll look through the pool of applicants, go through the interview process and see who falls within those categories,” Chavez said. “We prefer somebody who is licensed as an administrator, but we’re not going to pigeon-hole ourselves into making that type of decision and limiting our pool of candidates.”
Advertisements of the positions were posted on the SFPS website on Aug. 1, and Chavez said the district has to wait for five business days before beginning the interview process. Ideally, he would like to have hires by the end of the month, especially with the school year starting Monday for freshmen and Tuesday for the rest of both high schools.
For now, Chavez is handling some of the duties for his former job, while getting help from school administrators and athletic/activities coordinator Estrella Flores. However, he said he has had some long days already trying to juggle responsibilities with his current position with any helping out with any problems or issues regarding athletics.
“It’s been very time-consuming, but as I have told the superintendent and others in her cabinet, I am here to work for the district,” Chavez said. “I am here to dedicate my time and effort for the district. So whatever is tasked upon me, I will take that head-on.
“We’d all like a little relief at work, but until then, I am giving it 100 percent to make sure nothing is left behind.”