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Superintendent's News

Posted: February 9, 2024

Hope for the Future

In his weekly message, Superintendent Scott Elder recognizes this year’s Selfless Seniors.

I want to start off by congratulating Dr. Gabriella Blakey, who was selected by the APS Board of Education this week as the next superintendent. It’s a big job, but I have no doubt that she is up to the task. Our community is lucky to have her.

I officially hand over the reins on June 30. I look forward to working with Dr. Blakey over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.

As I wrap up my 30+ year career here at APS, I find myself getting sentimental from time to time. That sentimentality crept in again on Thursday during a reception honoring the 2024 Selfless Seniors.  

For anyone new to APS or unfamiliar with our Selfless Seniors program, it’s something we do every year to honor students for their dedication to school and commitment to others. These aren’t necessarily our top academic performers or stellar athletes. They’re the individuals who go out of their way to help others and contribute to their community without expecting anything in return.

The students being honored this year are: 

  • Sinahí Oaxaca, Albuquerque High
  • Angelina Olivas, Atrisco Heritage Academy High
  • Annabella Beck, Cibola High
  • Josiah Herrera, Del Norte High
  • Iris Eisenman, Eldorado High
  • Grysell Huizar, Highland High
  • Kendall King, La Cueva High
  • Connor McCammon, Manzano High
  • Laura Burianek, Nex+ Gen Academy
  • Miranda Castañeda, Rio Grande High
  • Taylor Trussell, Sandia High
  • Brooklyn Upton, Valley High
  • Kalily Garcia, Volcano Vista High
  • Angel Perez, West Mesa High

These students have participated in and even spearheaded food drives to help those most in need in our community. They’re there for elderly neighbors who need help. Many have spent hours picking up litter and removing invasive species.

One has been working to preserve the history of acequias and to maintain those systems. Another spends her Wednesday evenings caring for, training, feeding, and cleaning up after more than 80 rescue cats through an animal rescue organization. One young man has gone out of his way to honor and recognize veterans and ensure that their sacrifices are never forgotten. Another works as a teen literacy and math tutor. I could go on and on.

We recognize one student from each of our comprehensive high schools and one student from our magnet schools. I am grateful to the APS Education Foundation and photographer Frank Frost for their work over the years to honor our Selfless Seniors.

The students we’re honoring this year are amazing, and I’m proud of each and every one of them. And I’m proud of the teachers, coaches, mentors, counselors, and everyone else at APS who, along with their families, helped these students become the incredible people they are today.

This is what success looks like!

Meeting the Selfless Seniors is something I’ve looked forward to every year. They give me hope for the future. I congratulate them and their families.

Have a great weekend.