- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Albuquerque Public Schools confirmed Tuesday that the hiker who died on a New Mexico trail was a top administrator with Albuquerque Public Schools.

District spokesman Rigo Chavez said superintendent Raquel Reedy will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the death of Ruben Hendrickson, the district’s chief operating officer. He declined to give more details.

Steven Quezada, a school board member, says he learned from the school board president on Tuesday that Hendrickson had died on a popular hiking trail at the edge of Albuquerque’s city limits.

“This is a big loss to APS. He was one of the pillars of this district,” Quezada said. “I’m too emotional to even speak about it now.”

New Mexico State Police say a hiker suffered a medical episode Monday morning while on La Luz trail, which leads to the top of the Sandia Mountains.

State police did not immediately identify the hiker.

Hendrickson was named chief operations officer of Albuquerque Public Schools in May 2014 after the district’s COO Brad Winter retired. He had been the district’s deputy chief financial officer since December 2009.

Hendrickson, who held a master’s degree in finance from Stanford University, was a finance manager and controller for Intel in Rio Rancho from 1990 to 2009.

As finance manager for Intel’s Fab 9, Hendrickson oversaw an annual budget of $400 million.

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