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Board of Education Recognitions

Posted: June 18, 2021

APS Equity Champions

Yvonne Gallegos, Reynaluz Juarez, and Shelbilyn Morgan were recognized for being named APS Equity Champions.

An Equity Champion demonstrates sustained support for advancing diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, raises awareness of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, and/or serves as a catalyst for change in the areas of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.  At the direction of the Board of Education, the award was set up as a quarterly award. Equity Champions are nominated in three categories:  student, district, and school champions. 

Yvonne Gallegos has been named a District Equity Champion!  Ms. Gallegos is the community partnership coordinator in the Coordinated School Health Department.  Throughout the pandemic, Yvonne worked with APS staff and community partners to address food insecurities and the distribution of resources by actively working to make sure areas of inequality were understood and identified. Hunger impacts many students and families and can be a major barrier to learning in all classrooms at all grade levels. Families across the APS district were greatly impacted by her work. These families would have gone hungry if she had not examined the equitable distribution of food and resources provided both by the district and community partners.                                                                    

Reynaluz Juarez has been named a School Equity Champion!  Ms. Juarez is the community school coordinator for Whittier Elementary School.  Three years ago Whittier was designated as an MRI school and threatened with closure.  As a neighborhood resident, Ms. Juarez understood the devastation that would occur by shutting a school, and she joined the fight to turn Whittier around.  A big part of that fight has been helping the Public Education Department and district administration understand the issues of systemic racism that led to this situation.  As a community school coordinator, a big part of her job is helping families access resources for housing, jobs, and health.  However, she understands that the problems that need to be solved for our students occur on a more systemic level. She fights consistently for additional resources for our students and families, and she bravely and openly challenges norms that lead to inequitable treatment of families both at a district and a community level. The partnerships she has formed among our school and other organizations in the area will continue to impact the lives of the students and families well beyond their time at Whittier.

Shelbilyn Morgan has been named a Student Equity Champion!  Ms. Morgan openly and invitingly shares about her experience as a Native student and her Pueblo of Acoma.  Shelbilyn is honest and humble when sharing her history and culture with teachers and peers. She shares with her classes about her experiences and traditions, including the clay art she makes with her grandma.  By sharing so willingly, she has influenced other Native students to also share about their history, their pueblos, and to connect with each other.

Congratulations, Yvonne, Reyaluz and Shelbilyn, on being named APS Equity Champions!

 

Tags: Core Schools