Ryal McMurry Appointed to APS District 5 Seat


The Alamogordo Public School Board has now flipped all seats except for one.  With the announced resignation of Amber Ross who resigned effective December 31, 2023. The search for a new board member began in January with only 2 applicants applying for the appointment.

Applications were submitted by only 2 candidates; Dana Lynn Burks and Ryal McMurry.

Burks is a lifelong Otero County resident and retired Alamogordo Public Schools educator and administrator. She served as Alamogordo Public Schools director of special education under Superintendent Philip Knight from 2015 through 2017.

"My qualifications for the position of School Board member include a B.S. in Secondary Education, M.A. in Educational Leadership from NMSU and NM PED licensure in School Administration and Supervision," Burks wrote in her letter of interest.

McMurry is also an Otero County resident, having grown up in Alamogordo and a product of Alamogordo Public Schools, he became a teacher for the district before becoming the principal for two schools within the district.

"I have a B.A. degree from NMSU, an MA degree in Curriculum and Instruction from NMSU and an Administration Certification from ENMU," he wrote in his letter of interest.

At the school board meeting interviews were offered. Applicant Burks did not attend the February 8th school board meeting where interviews for the empty seat were held. Burks did not provide a reason for the absence.

At the meeting McMurry spoke about his qualifications and previously held positions as an educator responding, "I am an educator very familiar with Alamogordo Public Schools and throughout my career I have tried to make my decisions on what is best for kids." he said. "First of all, I was a product of APS, I attended Sahara Elementary and Chaparral Middle School then Alamogordo High School. I graduated in 1998 and got my bachelor's degree from New Mexico State University."

"My passion is literacy, that's always been my favorite part. But what I would say is my goal was always that every child would succeed and meet that goal," McMurry said when asked questions by the board.

He is employed by the New Mexico Public Education Department as a multilayered system support coach adding value to his credentials.

The vote was unanimous in making McMurry the new board member. His first board meeting will be Thursday, February 22, 2024. He will be joining a newly elected school board embroiled in controversy with several pending in house investigations ongoing, and the pressures of a group led by Lorri Black and Cindy Stong seeking to establish a competing charter school system which if enacted would pull approximately 250 students and funding for those students away from an already strugglings APS system.

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