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News from 2020-2021

Posted: March 17, 2021

March's Outstanding Employees

This month's honorees include a principal, counselor, assistant principal and office manager.

Congratulations to March's honorees:

  • Joseph (Luke) Berglund, Principal, A. Montoya Elementary School
  • Tanya Martinez, Counselor at Manzano High School 
  • Shelby Sanchez, Assistant Principal, Tierra Antigua Elementary School 
  • Betty Williams, Office Manager at Sandia High School 

The honorees are being featured on the APS electronic billboards around town and will be recognized by the APS Board of Education, receiving a lasting memento of their honor.

Learn More about March's Honorees

Joseph (Luke) Berglund, Principal, A. Montoya Elementary School

Mr. Berglund is described as a fantastic leader who is positive and honest. His weekly messages are always full of positivity and feel like they are cheering on students, staff, families, and the community at large. He is approachable and he really cares about students. During in-person learning, he often would be seen in the hall, squatting down to student level. He would look them in the eye and assure them that they mattered and he was here to help them. He deescalated many situations with students by really listening to them. His kind, compassionate, unshakeable leadership is wonderful every day, but even more needed during these uncertain times.

"I am a special education teacher at A. Montoya Elementary who lives on the far west side of Albuquerque and I choose to work at A Montoya primarily
because Luke is great to work for," said Margarita Fuerza. "I always feel treated with respect and like I matter." 

Tanya Martinez, Counselor at Manzano High School  

Mrs. Martinez goes above and beyond for students. She is quick to reply to parents' concerns and helps guide them through the process of helping students. She is very responsive to emails and always maintained a level of professionalism that leaves parents feeling confident and certain that she absolutely has their children's best interest at heart.

She is compassionate, responsive, and has the ability to set things in motion and do so quickly. She has also displayed a true concern for her students. 

"I really feel like she goes above and beyond to help parents and students navigate through uncertainty with a reassuring and compassionate demeanor," said parent Kerrina Rodriguez. "Bottom line, I truly feel like she cares about and supports the students and families that she works with. I cannot express how much this means to me as a parent."

Shelby Sanchez, Assistant Principal, Tierra Antigua Elementary School

Tanya Bowers, a parent at Tierra Antigua, explains why she nominated Ms. Sanchez as an employee of the month: 

"I'm a night shift ICU nurse. Due to the shortage of ICU nurses during COVID, I voluntarily signed up to help a hospital struggling to staff enough ICU nurses in their COVID unit. I'm also a single parent. Online school is difficult for all of us, but working the night shift and working 5-6 days a week I'm finding it impossible and I'm overwhelmed.

"One day after expressing to the school counselor how overwhelmed I was
trying to manage school and work and still sleep, I received a text saying 'Hello! This is Shelby Sanchez AP at Tierra. I'm willing to come to the house to help (Tanya's child) get set up and in class with some cheat sheets for home.

Through the conversation, we made a plan for her to come help. She came with some supplies and cheat sheets just like she said she would and sat with him while he was in class. My son showed me the sheets she had brought for him and taped up in his little corner, he showed me she had bookmarked all the sites and saved his passwords. He was happy to see her and enjoyed spending time with her. I really appreciated her time and she has since followed up with us to see how we are doing. With my work schedule, this seems impossible and these little acts of kindness really do make things a little easier for us."

Betty Williams, Office Manager at Sandia High School 

Betty Williams is the heart of Sandia. It is rare to walk into the office and
find the chair next to Betty's desk vacant as it is usually filled with
someone -- staff, student, or parent -- who is receiving advice, assurance, or assistance from her. She leads the entire office staff in creating a warm and welcoming environment for all visitors. People often joke that she runs the school, but it isn't really a joke. She has a calming presence, and all who walk into her office are treated like family.

"Betty takes the time to get to know everyone. She is a friend to all," said Assistant Principal Camille Gonzales. "Many parents, students, and staff members have turned to Betty during difficult times for consolation. She is readily able to calm those who are angry or upset by simply listening to them and offering a friendly smile and warm hug (during non-COVID times, of course.)"


How to Nominate an Employee

You can nominate an employee by filling out an online application. The nomination must be completed by someone other than the nominee (i.e., no self-nominations are eligible for consideration).

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

Tags: Core Schools