City Schools super placed on admin leave

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Las Vegas City Schools Superientendent Kelt Cooper was placed on paid administrative leave Monday by a 5-0 vote of the district's Board of Education.

After meeting in executive session for about 90 minutes during Friday morning's special meeting, the board voted to place Cooper on administrative leave. The district's Director of Curriculum, Director of Instruction and Assessment Director, Larryssa Archuleta, was at the meeting as well, and accepted the board's appointment as the "acting" superintendent.

No reason was given for Cooper's leave. LVCS Board Chair Dennis Romero told the Optic he had no time frame for Cooper's leave.

Cooper has not been reached by the Optic for comment, as of this writing.

The board posted a notice early this week on the district's website. Initially,, no action items were on the agenda; the lone item was an exective session for "discussion of limited personnel matters."

However, by Friday morning, the agenda had been amended to add "Action can be taken by the Las Vegas Schools Board of Education on any item on the approved agenda during any meeting advertised as per the Open Meetings Act."

Cooper is under contract with City Schools through the end of the 2020-21 school year at an annual salary of about $110,000. The Las Cruces native came to New Mexico after a long career that included recent stints in Texas and Connecticut.

In May 2016, the board hired Cooper after interviewing candidates from a 12-educator field that included Archuleta. His two-plus years have included the closure of three schools along with mixed results in the state's campus and district grading system.