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News from the Foundation

Posted: February 8, 2024

Outstanding February Employees

This month's honorees include a librarian, a head custodian, an athletic trainer, and a community partner coordinator.

Employee recognition logo

Employee recognition logo

Albuquerque Public Schools is filled with dedicated professionals who devote their time and talent to helping the district meet the needs of students.

For the sixth year, the district recognizes at least a few of these outstanding employees through the Employee Recognition Program.

All staff members employed for at least six months can be nominated, though we ask that you not nominate yourself.

February’s Honorees

  • Natasha Carty
  • Fabian Jaramillo
  • Yvette Pomponi
  • Joey Wilson

The honorees are being featured on APS electronic billboards around town and will have an opportunity to visit with Superintendent Scott Elder or his representative. They also will receive a lasting memento.

Nominate an APS employee!

Learn More About February’s Nominees

Natasha Carty – Librarian, Tres Volcanes Community Collaborative School

As the librarian at Tres Volcanes Community Collaborative School, Natasha Carty goes out of her way to engage students and to make everyone feel welcome and at ease, so much so that one of her colleagues says she has made the school library feel like the school’s living room. She encourages students to come in during lunch and even hosts an open library during middle school lunches for students to play board games, do puzzles, and even play Dungeons and Dragons. She is always collaborating with teachers to find the best resources for them and their students. She creates activities and lesson plans for each chapter of a book the whole school will read together.

But her contributions to the school extend well beyond that of a librarian.

She spends her weekends and summers delving into strategies to better teach K-8 students. She volunteers for teacher development programs such as AIM curriculum and the eight-hour cohort to deliver social-emotional lessons to all students. She has built social-emotional learning, kindness, and gardening lessons for the school. She also organized the school’s parent night, which included fun activities and had a huge turnout. She has even co-coached E-sports teams and is on the school’s staff instructional council committee, meeting regularly to vote on schoolwide budgets, procedures, and new initiatives. And she helps maintain and operate the school’s 3D printers.

“She inspires me,” says one teacher at the school.  

Fabian Jaramillo – Head Custodian, Emerson Elementary School

Fabian Jaramillo takes pride in his job and is always on the ball, heading off problems wherever he sees them creeping up. As the head custodian of Emerson Elementary, he’s responsible for the entire school, and he takes that responsibility seriously.

“He knows, understands, and proactively works to keep the facility maintained and in running order throughout the changing of seasons and the school year,” his principal says. “He can anticipate issues and therefore prevent situations from occurring that could turn into costly events.”

Jaramillo is respectful, conscientious, and “cares about the facility being in optimal operation for the children and staff,” the principal adds, noting that he will even come in on a day off if there’s inclement weather because he wants to make sure the school will be ready for students and staff.

Yvette Pomponi – Athletic Trainer, Cibola High School

When an athlete is injured, Yvette Pomponi is always the first one there. She is Cibola High’s athletic trainer, but she cares about student athletes, regardless of which school they play for. At a recent state tournament, she treated students from across the state and covered teams that did not have trainers with them.

She genuinely cares about students and goes out of her way to help them.

Earlier in the school year, a football player was injured and taken to the emergency room. Pomponi reached out to all of his teachers that evening to ensure they knew that his backpack was still in the locker room and that he was at the ER.

“I had teachers comment that they had never had someone take that kind of time to ease a student’s mind and that they appreciated the update so that they could support this young man,” the principal said.

Pomponi is also something of a superstar in her field. She consistently has trainees with her and is known throughout the state for having mentored or trained dozens of trainers.

“She does her job with joy and passion, and it attracts people and makes them feel better in times of need,” her principal says. “… Her energy and love for sports and kids is absolutely contagious, and she is simply one of the hardest workers I have ever met.”

Joey Wilson, Community Partner Coordinator, Warehouse/Donations, McKinney-Vento Program

As many people in our community struggle with food insecurity and meeting other basic needs, Joey Wilson is there to help. Wilson, the community partner coordinator with the McKinney-Vento Program, manages the warehouse where food and other donations are kept until they can be distributed to APS families in need.

“Joey exemplifies an incredible spirit, consistently extending a helping hand to those in need,” says one warehouse volunteer. “Her dedication knows no bounds, as she traverses across town to collect donations and ensure the warehouse is well-stocked.”

When food supplies start to run low, she sounds the alarm and talks to reporters to drum up donations that benefit families in distress. She also fosters a workplace atmosphere where everyone feels like family, whether they’re paid employees or volunteers.

“Her friendly and outgoing nature, coupled with a proactive approach to paying it forward, makes her a standout individual,” the volunteer says.

How to nominate an employee

You can nominate an employee by filling out the Employee Recognition online application. Nominations must be completed by someone other than the nominee. Self-nominations are not eligible for consideration.

Award recipients will be selected monthly by a Peer Praise Task Force.