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APS Supt. Presents Honorary Diploma to Clovis Student
20-year-old student was enrolled in APS Home Hospital Course
Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent presented an honorary diploma Monday afternoon to Zackary Smith, a 20-year-old student from Clovis who suffers from cancer, and was enrolled in the district’s Home Hospital program.
“I just want to thank everyone who made this possible,” Smith said in accepting the diploma from the superintendent in a ceremony at the Ramada Hotel, where he has been staying since beginning treatments at UNM Hospital in the fall.
Lisa Salcido, Zack’s teacher, said that he had been her student in the Home Hospital program since October, finished his algebra II class earlier this month and wanted to get his diploma. “He wants to pursue his goals at CNM now,” Salcido said.
She noted that before Christmas, Zack made scarves and hats and had a friend sell them at UNM for him, so that he could use the money to buy gifts for children undergoing treatment at the hospital. “Now he is trying to collect donations of laptop and tablet computers to give to students who don’t have them, so they can continue to study online,” Salcido said.
Zack’s mother Debra praised the staff at the Ramada for being so accommodating. “They allowed us to use the breakfast room here for tutoring, provided transportation to the hospital and arranged this room so he could get his diploma,” Smith said. “Zack believes that anything is possible and he fights so hard to prove it.”