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Posted October 30, 2013

Many APS Employees, Students Help Put on National Conference

Albuquerque Public Schools is hosting nearly 1,000 big-city school superintendents, board members and senior administrators during the 57th annual fall conference for the Council of the Great City Schools.

A postcard created by an APS student for guests at the conference.

From set up to tear down and everything in between, APS employees are taking part in a national conference that’s attracting top educators from across the nation this week.

The Council of the Great City Schools, which represents 66 urban school districts, is holding its 57th annual fall conference at the Albuquerque Convention Center and Hyatt Regency through Sunday. More than two dozen APS administrators and teachers will be presenting on a variety of topics including the Common Core State Standards, bilingual education, aging public school buildings, special education and technology.

Superintendent Winston Brooks and APS Board of Education President Martin Esquivel greeted those attending the conference Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  On Thursday night, board member Dr. David Peercy will be honored among the finalists for the nation’s highest urban education award recognizing district leaders for exceptional contributions to schools and students.

In addition to the many APS presenters, district employees are helping with conference logistics. They're registering and greeting guests, helping with meals and events, assisting with technology, sharing information about the district and our city, even tweeting.

APS students also are playing a role. Music and entertainment is being provided by student groups from across the district, and students and art teachers created the artwork that adorns the meal tables as well as small appreciative tokens for the guests from across the country.

Students also will participate in a town hall discussion Friday on stereotyping, profiling and bullying among other issues in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin verdict.

Here is a list of APS conference presenters:


  • Lynne Rosen, director of Language and Cultural Equity; Nana Encinias, instructional manager; and Denise Balderas, resource teacher, will discuss the changing culture of instruction for English Language Learners.
  • Joseph Escobedo, chief of staff, will join a panel discussion on public and higher education partnerships.
  • Math teachers Ronda Davis, RuthieAnn Trujillo and Luis Guzman will join Matthew Lindsey-Paek, autism program teacher, will participate in a panel discussion on engaging students in math through technology.
  • Telse Reiser, the principal of the APS Autism Center, will join Special Education Executive Director Anne Tafoya for a discussion on supporting a range of autism programs and interventions.
  • Jami Jacobson, executive director of Curriculum and Instruction; Shelly Green, Chief Academic Officer; Cathy Lucas, instructional manager for Curriculum and Instruction; Donna Key, elementary principal support; and Sheila Hyde, director of professional learning, will serve on a panel that looks at changing the learning culture through the Common Core.
  • Superintendent Winston Brooks will serve on a panel that looks at moving standardized tests from paper and pencil to computers.
  • Lynne Rosen and Nana Encinias will join instructional manager Greg Hansen and district resource teacher Danielle Larranaga for a talk on increasing the rigor for English Language Learners with an emphasis on complex text.
  • School Board President Martin Esquivel will facilitate a discussion on teacher evaluations with an emphasis on new teachers.
  • School Board member David Peercy will facilitate a discussion on strategies for teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
  • Associate Superintendents Raquel Reedy and Diane Kerschen will join Chief Academic Officer Shelly Green in a discussion on helping elementary school principals implement the Common Core.


  • David Peercy will join Chief Operations Officer Brad Winter in a discussion on what data says about the correlation between certain district operational activities and improved student achievement.
  • Rose-Ann McKernan, executive director of Instruction and Accountability; Kristine Meurer, executive director of Family and Community Engagement; and Becky Almeter, director of secondary education, will serve on a panel titled “Our Children, Our Challenges, Our Future: One District’s Use of Data to Focus Staff on Improvement.”
  • Lynne Rosen will serve on a panel that looks at the role of the ESL teacher.
  • Superintendent Brooks will join Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus in a discussion on how to get all urban school students, no matter their socioeconomic background, connected to the Internet.
  • John Dufay, executive director Maintenance and Operations, will talk about preserving deteriorating public school buildings.

Download the conference program.

Slide Show: CGCS Volunteers

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