Pino resigns from Belen school board

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Adrian Pino Resigned

After serving for more than a decade on the Belen Board of Education, Adrian Pino, the board’s vice president, has resigned — effectively immediately.

A choked-up Board President R. Sam Chavez read Pino’s resignation letter aloud at the board’s regular meeting Tuesday night.

Pino, who was first elected to the board 13 years ago to the District 5 position, said he is stepping down to focus on family and personal issues, such as expanding the print shop he opened 28 years ago.

Wednesday morning, Belen Superintendent Ron Marquez announced the hiring of Adrian Pino Jr. as a journeyman electrician. The announcement came less than a week after an anonymous caller informed the News-Bulletin that the district had cut short the application period by two weeks for an electrician position and that Pino would resign from the board so his son could be hired.

Nepotism laws forbid the school district from hiring any relative of a school board a member.

Pino acknowledged Wednesday that while serving on the board, nepotism laws automatically excluded his son from getting a job with the district, but said those laws had little to do with his decision to resign.

“I have had a wonderful time on the board. I’ve done some amazing things with the committees that I’ve been on,” he said. “It’s just kind of getting old and I need to move on. I’ve got other things to attend to.”

While on the board, Pino has been instrumental in the completion of several long-standing projects, including the construction of Belen Career Academy, the Belen Consolidated Schools Administration Building and gymnasiums at Central and Dennis Chavez elementary schools.

“The best tribute to any board member is, number one, graduation, and I don’t think he has missed one as a board member,” Marquez said. “Second would be to walk around the district and see how many facilities built that he made commitments to as far as finding funding whether it was through bonds, or through special appropriation you are going to see his name on a lot of plaques.”

Chavez, who credits Pino with helping mentor him during his early years on the board, said replacing the outgoing board member won’t be easy.

“He never had a day that he wasn’t putting children first,” Chavez said. “They are extremely large shoes to fill. Mr. Pino is extremely knowledgeable about board functions.”

The board has 45 days to appoint a replacement to fill the vacant seat. If the board doesn’t fill the seat in a timely manner, state law gives the Public Education Department authority to appoint a replacement.

The Belen Board of Education is seeking applicants to fill the vacant seat. Those interested should apply to the superintendent’s office at 520 N. Main St. in Belen on or before 4 p.m., Monday, Dec. 2.

Applicants must reside within District 5 and should submit a letter of interest and a summary of their qualifications.

For more questions or information, contact Cynthia Moya, at 966-1003.