June 6 — The Spain school board on Thursday kept its principal on administrative leave, hired an interim principal and lost a board member in the process.
Superintendent Fred Trujillo will remain on paid leave while school district prosecutors investigate his past actions while leading independent schools in Pecos.
Trujillo was first put on leave in May after a federal complaint was filed alleging he had taken no action when staff members at Pecos schools reported multiple incidents of male staff members being attacking students. In recent years, three adult men affiliated with the Pecos High School boys’ basketball team have been charged with raping female students. One has been convicted, the other has had his case dismissed pending further investigation, and the other is awaiting trial.
Trujillo was superintendent at Pecos for nine years.
The Española School Board hired Trujillo in February 2020 as allegations of sexual assault and rape at schools in Pecos continued to surface. His original contract was for two years at $ 150,000 per year, but the board extended his contract before he was named in the lawsuit.
Trujillo did not respond to requests for comment.
The school board has voted to appoint Vera Trujillo as interim superintendent, while the investigation into Fred Trujillo continues. Vera Trujillo has held several educational positions in Pojoaque, Santa Fe, and Ohkay Owingeh.
“It was kind of a surprise to me,” she told the Journal.
Meanwhile, board member Yolanda Salazar tendered her resignation from the board during Thursday’s executive session. It’s unclear what prompted her to resign, although Salazar was the only board member to vote against putting Fred Trujillo on leave. She could not be reached for comment.
Board member Ruben Archuleta, a longtime ally of Salazar, said she did not give the board specific reasons for leaving and that her decision surprised board members. Salazar was elected to the board of directors with Archuleta in 2016.
“It’s a little sad to see her go – she was my partner,” Archuleta said.