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News from the Foundation

Posted: May 7, 2024

Outstanding May Employees

This month's honorees include a secretary, a dean of students, a principal, and a Food & Nutrition Services site supervisor.

Employee recognition logo

Employee recognition logo

Albuquerque Public Schools has many 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.

May’s Honorees

  • Naomi Johnson
  • Randilyn Lesperance
  • Shelby Sanchez
  • Brenda Tapia

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

Nominate an APS employee!

Learn More About May’s Nominees

Naomi Johnson – Secretary, Comanche Elementary School

Naomi Johnson has worked at Comanche Elementary School for 20 years; in that time, she’s gotten to know just about everyone.

“Naomi not only knows each staff member at our school but also each community volunteer by name and personally recognizes our families,” says her principal. “She remembers past siblings and even sometimes parents who were former students. She connects our community and our school.”

Johnson truly cares about students and the community and is engaged in after-school activities.

As the school’s secretary, Johnson is one of the first faces the Comanche community sees every day or hears on the phone when they call.

“She is patient, professional and she has the gift of making everyone feel valued,” the principal says. “She knows who you are and what makes you special and unique.”

Randilyn Lesperance – Dean of Students, Eisenhower Middle School

As the dean of students at Eisenhower Middle School, Randilyn Lesperance is always putting students first. So it came as no surprise earlier this year when she saw a student in trouble and jumped in to help.

Lesperance was in the cafeteria during lunch when a student began to choke.

“She immediately performed the Heimlich maneuver and was able to stop the student from choking,” one of her colleagues says. “She helped this student immediately before the nurse could even get to the cafeteria. Her quick thinking and actions helped save this student’s life.”

Shelby Sanchez – Principal, Tierra Antigua Elementary School

Tierra Antigua Elementary School Principal Shelby Sanchez is front and center as parents drop their children off at school every morning, which has left an impression on the school’s families.

“Since the beginning of the school year I have seen Ms. Sanchez outside welcoming all the kids at parent pick up, and she has welcomed the kids with a smiling face,” one parent says “She leads by example by being out there with her staff. As a father, it makes me very happy to know that this school has a great leader who truly cares about the school, staff, and the kids!.”

He goes on to say that a good leader leads by example, and that is exactly what Ms. Sanchez is doing.

Tierra Antigua is a big school with many kids, he says, yet Sanchez “never fails to recognize my daughter by her name” greeting her with a good morning every day.

Brenda Tapia – Site Supervisor, Food & Nutrition Services - Van Buren Middle School

As the site supervisor for Food & Nutrition Services at Van Buren Middle School, Brenda Tapia has proven there’s no challenge too big for her to handle. Better still, she has a positive attitude and is a great team player.

“She cares about the students and takes pride in the service she and her team provide to the students at Van Buren,” says Sandra Kemp, executive director of Food & Nutrition Services. “She greets the students with a smile and a great attitude.”

Kemp goes on to say that Tapia is dedicated, caring, and committed to feeding students.

Tapia has worked with Food & Nutrition Services for 24 years, starting as a general helper and moving up to a site supervisor position in 2008.

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.