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News from the Foundation

Posted: September 14, 2023

Outstanding September Employees

This month's honorees include an application developer, a librarian, a warehouse transportation clerk, and a plumbing supervisor.

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.

September’s Honorees

  • Jose Estrada
  • Maria Geifer-Olsen
  • Mark Herron
  • Johnny Madrid

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 September’s Nominees

Jose Estrada – Technology Application Developer, Technology

Think of him as a superhero without the cape. Jose Estrada has worked with APS Technology for many years, and in that time he’s developed a reputation as someone who can solve the most challenging problems. He doesn’t back down from a challenge, his supervisor notes, and he frequently develops innovative solutions to complex issues.

“He is an extremely reliable employee and comes to work every day with a positive attitude,” says another one of his bosses. “He excels at any task assigned to him and does it with a beautiful air of humbleness and focused savvy.”

But it’s not just bosses who have taken note of Estrada’s work ethic.

“He is extremely knowledgeable, professional, respectful, kind, and smart,” notes one coworker. “He is quick to address issues and find solutions. He helps everyone without hesitation, and his solutions have helped APS a lot.”

Maria Geifer-Olsen – Librarian, Seven Bar Elementary School

Her title may be “librarian,” but Marie Geifer-Olsen is much more than that. At Seven Bar Elementary, she goes out of her way to help new teachers and to engage students.

“She’s a STEM teacher, an art teacher, a reading guru, and our tech person,” says one colleague. “She does all this on top of being a librarian.”

That colleague says  Geifer-Olsen is always going above and beyond for students and teachers. If someone needs a book she doesn’t have, she does her best to order it. She reaches out to beginning teachers to let them she she’s there to help. Her school’s hallways are always filled with beautiful artwork created by students who are inspired by the books she recommends.

“In the beginning of the year we had amazing and unique dots after they read the book The Dot,” the colleague notes. “Now we have a whole ocean scene with gorgeous sea creatures.

“She is so kind and wonderful to work with. We are so lucky to have her as our librarian.”

Mark Herron  – Warehouse Transportation Clerk, Food & Nutrition Services

You can catch Mark Herron bundled up in warm gear even during the heat of August. That’s because Heron, a warehouse transportation clerk with Food & Nutrition Services, is often tasked with pulling orders from the freezer.

“It is extreme conditions in the freezer, and he continues to excel in the organization of it,” his boss says. “He takes pride in the work he does.”

Herron has worked with Food & Nutrition Services for six-and-a-half years. During that time he has delivered food to schools and provided lunches for summer programs in addition to pulling orders from the freezer.

He notes when products are getting low and keeps on top of any fluctuation of temperatures in the freezer.

Herron is dedicated to the department’s success, and the work he does makes a difference.

Johnny Madrid  – Plumbing Supervisor, Maintenance & Operations

If there’s an after-hours plumbing emergency at an APS school, chances are Johnny Madrid will be there ready to address the problem.

Madrid, a plumbing supervisor with the Maintenance & Operations Plumbing Shop, frequently works evenings and weekends to ensure schools and district offices have the facilities they need to teach, learn, and work.

“Johnny Madrid possesses an unrelenting dedication to the staff and students who occupy APS schools,” his boss says. “He loves the APS community. I watch in amazement how committed he is ensuring staff and students have what they need.”

He notes that Madrid consistently remains hours past his duty schedule, far beyond any reasonable expectation.

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.