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Board of Education Recognitions

Posted: May 24, 2021

2021 Outstanding Volunteer Awards

Liliana Madrid-Larrañaga, Marie Madrid and Team PAUSE were recognized as outstanding volunteers.

April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month, and board members honored a few of the hundreds of volunteers who provide support in APS schools and programs.  From long-time volunteers to those who stepped up during the pandemic, these selfless individuals worked safely, virtually and tirelessly, to make a much-needed impact on our students, families, teachers, and schools.   

The 2021 APS Outstanding Youth Volunteer is Liliana Madrid-Larrañaga, a student at Albuquerque High School.  Liliana has served on the APS District School Health Advisory Council and other collaborative meetings.  She has shown strong leadership skills in taking on the task of planning and implementing a district-wide project to promote the use of School-Based Health Centers for all APS students -- an effort that helped double the use of the Albuquerque High School’s School-Based Health Center by students from other schools.  She has shown grace and skill beyond her young years demonstrating confidence and maturity in speaking to APS and community leaders.  She is also involved in a variety of peer support initiatives including mentoring younger students.  Thank you, Liliana, and congratulations!

The 2021 APS Outstanding Adult Volunteer is Marie Madrid, a volunteer who does it all!  Marie started volunteering at Dolores Gonzales Elementary School when her granddaughter was a student and continues to help out even though her granddaughter has moved away.  Her dedicated efforts and willingness to do whatever is needed make her a go-to person who supports everyone at the school.  She does it all -- from single-handedly decorating the school each season to create a welcoming school environment, to assisting the principal and vice-principal with tasks, to creating and distributing learning packets and materials for teachers, passing out school lunches, answering phones, designing the school yearbook, and even filling in for the secretary during her maternity leave prior to the pandemic.  This year, Marie organized incentives that helped improve students’ attendance during remote learning.  Being able to rely on Marie has given teachers and administration more time to dedicate to students. She helps make Dolores Gonzales Elementary more than a school, she makes it a family.  Congratulations, Marie!

The APS 2021 Outstanding Team Volunteers are the PAUSE Club Team, from Albuquerque High School.  PAUSE stands for “Peers of AHS Understanding Student Experience.”  Not only are they the “team” winners, but they also happen to all be youth student volunteers.  They are health and wellness champions, who, during remote learning, saw first-hand how sitting at a desk in front of a screen for long hours was affecting the mental and physical wellbeing of their peers and their families.  Their unique collaboration led to the creation of five Brain Break videos that help students at all skill and education levels by leading them through a physical or mental activity.  These young team members were professional, collaborative, and skilled, spending many hours turning an idea into reality.  They created the high-quality film and audio themselves with their own devices working independently in their homes.  The videos had more than 1,550 views in the first month with a high audience retention rate and have been widely praised in the school community.  Family Engagement staff and special education teachers have shared that Brain Break videos have shown real benefits for learning, helping to reduce disruptive behavior and increasing children’s ability to stay on task.  Congratulations, Veronica Estrada, Emmeline Rodrigues-Walsh, Josie Lopez, Catalina Sapien, and Lorena Madrid-Larrañaga, otherwise known as TEAM PAUSE!