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Posted: September 17, 2018

Supt. Encourages Nominations for Hall of Honor

"Let us honor our educators," APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy writes in her weekly message to employees.

Honoring Deputy Police Chief Mark Shea at the 2018 Gold Bar Gala

Honoring Deputy Police Chief Mark Shea at the 2018 Gold Bar Gala

I stood before the APS Hall of Honor located on the first floor of our office building recently and contemplated the educators who have been recognized thus far: a music teacher, principal, classroom teacher, fine arts manager, police officer and superintendent.

They are wonderful representatives of the work we do every day, devoted professionals who dedicated their careers to public education and their hearts to the students and staff they served. 

There are so many people like them who are working now for Albuquerque Public Schools, and many more who have gone before them. That is why I am grateful to the APS Education Foundation for beginning this tradition of inducting some of our finest into a Hall of Honor. 

Too often we recognize other professionals – athletes, musicians, members of the business community – without acknowledging those who played key roles along their journey to fame and fortune. So many of our heroes, the people we look up to, owe their success at least in part to the teachers, coaches, principals, counselors and other educators who taught and nurtured them in their formative years.

Educators are the unsung heroes of the field and stadium, stage and screen, courthouse and boardroom. It is only right that we recognize a few of our finest, past and present, who have made this city, this state, this country a better place to live.

Janet Kahn, for instance, helped get art education in our elementary schools. Dale Kempter was a long time music teacher who shared his passion with generations of students. Mary Ann Anderson was a longtime teacher, then principal and role model at half a dozen of our elementary schools. Janet Montoya Schoeppner was a multicultural and multilingual educator. Mark Shea was deputy chief for the APS Police Department who kept our schools safe. And you’ve probably heard of longtime APS Superintendent John Milne, or at least attended a football game in the stadium named for the man who served as the district’s leader for four decades.

Sadly, a few of these heroes were recognized posthumously. But I had the good fortune of meeting several Hall of Honor inductees during the Gold Bar Gala, the Foundation’s annual event that celebrates the great people of APS.

I can’t wait to see who is next. You can play a role in that decision. 

The Foundation is now accepting nominations for the next two inductees who will be recognized at the Gold Bar Gala on March 22, 2019. Following the event, their plaques will be displayed along with the others on the first floor of the APS administration building, 6400 Uptown Blvd. NE.

Whose face would you like to see hanging on that wall of honorees? One of your teachers or coaches? A colleague or mentor? What was it that inspired you? Their kindness, patience, friendship, passion? 

Why not share their story? I would love to see hundreds – no, thousands – of APS educators nominated to the Hall of Honor. The selection committee will hate me for saying so, but I know there are at least that many people in the Albuquerque Public Schools community deserving of this honor. 

The nomination process includes submitting three letters of support. I have a suggestion. Write that letter about the educator who most inspired you. Maybe submit it as a part of the Hall of Honor nomination. Or maybe, just give it to that person. If he or she is no longer living, share it with their family. It will make their day.

Let us honor our educators.