Bruce Carver says he’s sure this is his final goodbye; it’s the second time he’s retired as executive director of athletics for Rio Rancho Public Schools.
His replacement, Todd Resch, who once planned to be a sports journalist – good idea to get rid of that nonsense – says he’s ready to “hit the job listening.”
Yes, Resch knows that’s not the way that phrase usually goes. “Hit the job running” is the way most say it, but he’s going with a literal approach, following Carver around to get the flow and feel of the role, and not anticipating any changes from what has worked so well for Cleveland and Rio Rancho high schools in the past.
Kind of the proverbial, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
But Resch, 55, will have time to put his own stamp on the job, saying this will be “the last job in my career.”
He arrived at RRPS as a curriculum director, following the resignation of LaJuana Coleman.
It didn’t take him long to realize RRPS was a great place to work, after his previous coaching and administrative jobs at Del Norte, St. Pius X and La Cueva high schools.
Following the 2012-13 school year, the New Mexico Parent Teacher Association named him Principal of the Year.
“We wish we could clone him,” said state PTA President-elect Kim Kerschen. “He is so supportive of everybody. He puts the students first, their safety, their education. At the same time, he is completely supportive of his staff and responsive to parents. He is just a well-rounded principal.”
A few years later, when Resch was the associate superintendent for high school education with Albuquerque Public Schools, then-Superintendent Raquel Reedy announced his contract would be ended in one of several cost-cutting measures.
He landed on his feet, something he doesn’t always do when racing his bicycle – he recently competed in a 24-hour endurance event in Arizona (completing 228 miles in that stretch) – at CNM, where he remained until succeeding Coleman as executive director of secondary curriculum in 2021.
“The people – there are great people that are working in this district; they’re hard-working, intelligent people with hearts for kids,” he said.
Ironically, Resch said, “applied and interviewed for this position six years ago.”
That Larry Chavez’s resignation, his second from the district. When Carver, who preceded Chavez in the A.D. job, decided he’d like to return to that role, he was named the A.D.
“Athletics, to me, have been a lifelong passion,” Resch, a graduate of Eldorado High School, said. “Athletics have played a major role in all of my life – and it’s comfortable.
“That’s not to say curriculum isn’t comfortable, it’s just different.”
When participating in after-school activities, Resch explained, students “are regimented … (such as) having a two-hour window after practice when they have to get schoolwork done, whereas students who do not have practice have a longer window. But it’s harder to get started. It lends itself to procrastination, on the negative side.”
Resch said Scott Evans, Mike Huston, Damian Segura and Adrian Ortega have had an influence on him during his life’s journey.
With RRPS, Resch said, his goal is to “develop champions athletically, in the classroom and in the community.”
The “listening” portion is underway: “I think the first period of time is for me learning, getting to know coaches, learning about processes at each of the schools that I serve getting to know the athletic directors and coaches, attending games, attending practices.
“At some point in time, perhaps a tweak here and there, but I will tell you there has been excellent leadership in this position for many years, and I’m not seeking to disrupt that at all. I would like to see that our schools receive state-of-the-art facilities.”
Resch even has a way to relate his two RRPS positions when it comes to success for students and student-athletes: Having highly qualified teachers and highly qualified coaches.
“Kudos to Bruce. He’s been amazing; he’s helped me with the transition,” Resch said.