Woman blamed for APS money mess is hired at school

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — A KRQE News 13′s On Special Assignment report exposed her. Now, KRQE has learned a woman accused of mismanaging activities funds at an Albuquerque school has a new job at a school run by an APS board member.

Student Activities Director Yvette Jaramillo Barnwell charged Albuquerque High School students $20 dollars when they registered for school.

She called it an activity fee — something APS board member Kathy Korte called into question in an earlier interview with reporter Matt Grubs.

“We shouldn’t be charging kids to register for high school,” Korte told him.

What is that money used for?

An APS audit revealed Barnwell used nearly $20,000 of it to send seven students and four adults to Washington, D.C. for President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Except there is no paperwork to show who two of the chaperones on the trip were and the audit showed not all of the money in the activity fund was accounted for.

“We do have procedures,” Korte said. “Whether everybody is following those procedures is a different story.”

Barnwell told KRQE she was suspended with pay and didn’t leave her job until three months later when she accidentally sent an inappropriate text message to the school’s African-American principal.

Now, she is working at La Promesa Charter School thanks to APS board member Analee Maestas.

Maestas is the executive director of the Westside school.

When KRQE called the school, the woman who answered said Barnwell was the student activities director there. Maestas denies that. She would not speak on camera, but said Barnwell teaches special education and just helps with student activities.

Maestas also said she didn’t know about the activity fund problems when Barnwell was hired this year.

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