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Superintendent's News

Posted: March 15, 2024

More to Celebrate at APS

In his weekly message, Superintendent Scott Elder congratulates students and educators for several recent big wins.

Superintendent Scott Elder

Superintendent Scott Elder

Every now and again, it’s important to stop and celebrate our wins. It’s been a while since I’ve done that, so bear with me as I recognize our students and staff for their amazing work.

I’m going to start off with the Hawthorne Elementary students in Mary Cunningham’s Talent Pool class, particularly the Too Many Rainy Tacos team that took first place in the Destination Imagination tournament’s technical challenge earlier this month. The team spent months writing a play, creating costumes, and even building a pinball system they were required to use during their play. And when one of their flippers broke during the performance, the team remained focused, figured out a solution, and kept going! That’s the epitome of problem-solving, perseverance, and thinking on your feet – skills our students need to thrive in the real world. I’m thrilled they’re getting a head start at Hawthorne Elementary. This is a wonderful STEAM program, and I congratulate Mary Cunningham for immersing her students in it. As for the Too Many Rainy Tacos team, congratulations on coming in first in the competition. Remember how it felt to work hard and to win despite a setback.

Speaking of teams that know how to get things done, Eldorado High’s swim team won another state championship, its second in as many years. The Volcano Vista boys wrestling team also walked away with a state championship. Like Eldorado, it was the team’s second championship in as many years. And a big round of applause for all the APS students who won individual state championship titles. We’re proud of you!

Congratulations to our Office of Innovation, to Francesca Ver Ploegh, our Executive Director of Innovation, and to Rio Grande High, Polk Middle, Los Padillas Elementary, and Mountain View Elementary for securing a $12.8 million federal grant to launch the new Sustaining the Future pathway. This new magnet program is great because it builds on the strengths of our South Valley community. It will offer an environmental STEM curriculum and focus on inquiry-based learning experiences. Students will learn to code and have the opportunity to earn certificates from partnering universities in such fields as agricultural sustainability, sustainable farming, clean energy technology, and even drone flying. This is a giant win for APS and for our students!

And finally, kudos to counselor Maile Mote and to Comanche Elementary School for securing the RAMP designation from the American School Counselor Association. The designation is given to schools that demonstrate a commitment to delivering an exemplary school counseling program. To qualify, a counseling program must use a data-informed approach to helping students.

We can’t lose sight of all the great things happening at APS every day! We have amazing students and amazing staff, and they deserve to be celebrated.

That’s it for now.