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News from the Foundation

Posted: August 5, 2011

APS Teacher Buys Apple House Benefiting Foundation

RayLee Homes: A New Generation Donates $60,000 for Kids, Schools

Tim and Jeff Grady, owners of RayLee Homes: A New Generation, and Ginelle Salazar, a teacher at Atrisco Elementary, and her son Cameron.

Who better to live in the Apple House than an Albuquerque Public Schools teacher who comes from a family of educators?

Atrisco Elementary teacher Ginelle Salazar, her husband Mark and their young son Cameron recently moved into the West Side home built by RayLee Homes: A New Generation to benefit the APS Education Foundation. The sale of the home resulted in $60,000 in proceeds donated to the Foundation’s Horizon Campaign. The campaign supplements four major programs: Literacy; Fine Arts; Middle/High School Activities; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

“Our family has always appreciated the importance of education, so a partnership with the APS Education Foundation seemed like a natural,” said Jeff Grady, a Cibola High graduate and one of three Grady siblings who run RayLee Homes: A New Generation. “Thanks to subcontractors and business partners who donated time, materials and effort to building the house, we were able to make a sizeable contribution that we hope will make a difference in the lives of APS students and teachers.”

Salazar said she and her husband were looking for a spacious, one-story home closer to family when they came upon the Apple House near Unser and McMahon NW, a three-bedroom, two-bath home on a 1,858-square-foot floor plan. The house has all the bells and whistles – granite countertops, stone veneer accents, a Whirlpool appliance package, a covered back patio, marble cabinets, and lots of storage, which Salazar said she especially appreciated.

The deal closer was the fact that proceeds from the home sale were going to benefit students like those Salazar teaches and teachers like those Salazar works with, including her sister, who also teaches at Atrisco Elementary.

“There are so many budget issues in schools now, and I liked the fact that our purchase was going to help students and teachers,” said Salazar, whose parents also were educators. “I know so many teachers who dig into their own pockets to buy stuff for their classrooms. It’s always great to hear about businesses like RayLee Homes and business owners like the Gradys who want to contribute to public education and the betterment of our kids.”

Jeff said he, brother Tim and sister Tammy Grady Thornton, a former teacher who is now a member of the APS Education Foundation’s Board of Directors, plan to build another Apple House next year. It’s a tradition that emulates one started by their parents, who have built 15 Lobo Houses over the past three decades to benefit UNM athletics.

“The Grady family has long been supportive of APS schools and students, so their commitment is really well-known throughout the district. But what they’ve done with the Apple House is almost beyond comparison, and we’re very grateful for their belief in the district, the Foundation and the kids we serve,” said APS Education Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus.

Among the many vendors who played a part in creating the Apple House are Larry Reetz Construction, Max Grading, Albuquerque Curb Cutting, Plumb Mechanical, PMI Heating and Air, Modern Security, Aguamatic, Mastercraft Cabinets, Champion Truss, Feeny, Inc., SME, Fox Builders Inc., Holistic Energy Turn On Lighting, Arvisos Framing, Wayne Dalton, Albuquerque Door, Community Sciences, Whirlpool, FormCove, Powell Construction, Mountain West Sales, A-Management, Amestoy Dri-Wall, United Stoneworks, Stock Lumber, CTI, Ray’s Flooring, Duke Insulation, Otero Roofing, Home Team Pest Defense, Aspen Concrete, Virgil Gil, Arizona Tile and Signs by Tomorrow.

Filed under: employees, parents