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Superintendent's News

Posted: November 5, 2021

Feeling Grateful

In his weekly message, Supt. Elder expresses his appreciation for those who supported APS in the election.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but I am feeling grateful today. 

I am thankful to be part of a community that supports public education. That support was evident in Tuesday's election results. Nearly seven out of 10 voters supported the $200 million general obligation bond that will pay for improving school buildings and grounds as well as technology and security. The vote on the mill levy, which will raise $430 million over six years through property taxes, was closer, I suspect partly because the wording made it sound like we were imposing a new tax (we aren't). Still, more than half of voters approved the continuation of the current tax, which will allow us to make our schools more comfortable, safe, and welcoming.

I also am grateful for the slate of candidates who ran for the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education. Running for public office isn't easy, yet 13 individuals stepped up to make a difference for our students and families.

I am thankful for the four new board members chosen by voters to represent their districts. Each has shown themselves as caring individuals with a passion for public education:

  • Danielle Gonzales, a Valley High School graduate and former teacher who worked for a national nonprofit that helps large urban districts, wants every child in the city to get an excellent education that prepares them for success in life.
  • Crystal Tapia-Romero, a proud West Mesa High School graduate and early childhood advocate, is ready to share her experiences, learnings, and expertise to help improve APS.
  • Josefina Dominguez, a longtime teacher who taught for many years in APS, has a vision of a more equitable, inclusive, and accessible school system where all students feel more connected, welcomed, and invested in their education.
  • Courtney Jackson, a graduate of La Cueva High School and mother of two APS students, wants the best education possible for other daughters and their fellow students.

(I have included links to each new board member's Candidate Questions and Answers in case you want to learn a little more about them.) 

I am thankful that these four newcomers will be joining three veteran board members – Barbara Petersen, Peggy Muller-Aragón, and Yolanda Montoya-Cordova – who have proven to be tireless advocates for our students even in the most challenging of times. 

I am grateful for the four retiring school board members who have dedicated years of their lives to serving our school community. We aren't saying farewell just yet to Dr. David Peercy, Lorenzo Garcia, Candeleria Patterson, and Elizabeth Armijo, who will serve on the Board of Education through the end of the year. But I want to make sure they know that their dedication and devotion to the students, staff, and families of Albuquerque Public Schools is much appreciated, and they will be missed.

I also appreciate those who campaigned on behalf of our school district, whether it was for the bond and mill levy or a school board candidate. Whether you are a school or district administrator who passed on election information to your families or a volunteer who handed out flyers and hung door hangars, you played a role in informing the electorate and helping voters make wise decisions.

I am grateful for my APS colleagues, whether involved in the political process or not, because your work makes a difference in the future of this community.

And I am most thankful for our students, who are that future.

Thank you to all. Thanks for all you do.