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Posted August 26, 2014

A Message from Interim Superintendent Dr. Brad Winter

"I'm energized by the possibilities that lie ahead, eager to take on the task, and focused on what matters most – the future of our students."

Dear APS Community,

Life moves fast, and already we’re well into this new school year. I want you to know I couldn’t be happier or prouder to serve as your interim superintendent.

Few would argue this will be a year to remember. It’s been a tough start on some fronts with a resignation at the top, a bus driver shortage and heavy rains that caused some serious damage at a few schools.

But we’ve already had some pretty good moments, too.

At Sandia High School students have a brand new state-of-the-art math, science and technology building to learn in this year. This completes phase two of the total rebuild of the high school that opened back in 1961. Two years ago we celebrated the grand opening of the new Del Norte High School, and last year we christened the Community Stadium, the first APS athletic stadium built in more than 40 years. You can cheer for a favorite APS football team this weekend at the stadium located on the west side of Albuquerque during the annual East vs West Kickoff Clash. 

Next on the capital master plan is rebuilding Rio Grande and West Mesa high schools. We're doing what we can to make sure our students have safe, comfortable and accommodating environments to help them learn.  

We're also celebrating the second year of our newest high school, College and Career High, located on the CNM campus. The school that allows students to earn college credit while working on their high school diploma has nearly doubled its enrollment. 

The International Baccalaureate Program at Sandia High also doubled the size of its second class. Those students participated in a pinning ceremony and signed commitment letters during a ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

Speaking of commitment letters, I just learned that the entire freshmen class at Del Norte signed a pledge as well as a banner promising to graduate in four years. The pledge reads, in part, "I am going to do everything I can to ensure that I will graduate in four years, and be part of the graduating class of 2018. I take this 'finish in four' goal seriously." That's exactly the kind of commitment and dedication we need to make sure our graduation rate continues to improve. We'd love to see it hit 75 percent this year. Wouldn't it be great if students in the Class of 2018 saw 80 percent of their classmates getting diplomas!

There's exciting news from our Food and Nutrition Office, too. Thanks to the expansion of the federal Community Eligibility Program APS, we will be able to offer breakfast and lunch at no cost to more students than ever before

These are just a sampling of the many positive things that are happening in Albuquerque Public Schools. I'm energized by the possibilities that lie ahead, eager to take on the task, and focused on what matters most – the future of our students.

As you may know I came out of retirement to take on this challenge because I believe that with your help we can turn things around, and quickly. My immediate plan is to get back out to the schools and in our community. I'll be talking to students, teachers, parents, business leaders and more, listening to your concerns, ideas, hopes and frustrations. 

I invite you to join me on the journey ahead. We’re going to try harder, reach higher and make APS the kind of district students can feel proud to be a part of.

Here's to the 2014-15 school year!

Dr. Brad Winter, Interim Superintendent

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