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Superintendent's News

Posted: April 29, 2022

Appreciation Days

"I don’t need a designated day or week to remind me how extraordinary Albuquerque Public Schools employees are," Supt. Elder writes in his weekly message.

I appreciate APS teachers, not just during Teacher Appreciation Week – which happens to be next week, May 2-6 – but all year long.

I respect and admire APS principals, not just on School Principals’ Day – which is Sunday, May 1 – but throughout the year.

I am thankful for APS food service workers, who we will recognize on School Lunch Hero Day (May 6), and APS nurses, who we will recognize on School Nurse Day (May 11), but who we depend on every day.

Last week, flowers and plants adorned many of our offices as we expressed gratitude on Administrative Professional Day to a group of people who assist and support APS staff, students, and families.

Last month, we recognized APS EAs on Educational Assistants Day, and the month before that celebrated APS counselors during National School Counseling Week. Earlier in the school year, there were designated days and weeks for many other education-related professions, including police officers, librarians, custodians, coaches, and substitutes.

And, in case your job doesn’t fit into one of those categories, we celebrated Employee Appreciation Day in early March.

I don’t need a designated day or week to remind me how extraordinary Albuquerque Public Schools employees are. These jobs aren’t easy. It takes a certain kind of person to work on behalf of others, especially society’s youngest and most vulnerable. How well we do our job is reflected in the success of our students. The responsibility is immense. The public scrutiny can be scathing. But we persist for the greater good.

Public education is ever-changing, which makes educators adaptable and resilient. The pandemic only reinforced those qualities. The American Federation of Teachers president, Randi Weingarten, compared teachers during COVID to MacGyver, the television character from the 1980s who used ingenuity to get himself out of tough predicaments. I’d say we have all been MacGyvers these past couple of years.

The work is challenging and, honestly, often exhausting. But it’s essential work. Rewarding, too.

And appreciated.