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April's Outstanding Employees Announced

Posted April 16, 2019, 12:15 PM. Updated January 28, 2020, 10:14 AM.

The latest group of employees honored by the APS Employee Recognition Program includes a community schools coordinator, a night custodian, an occupational therapist and a site supervisor for Food & Nutrition Services.

Congratulations to this month's honorees: 

  • Maria Marquez, Community Schools Coordinator at Pajarito Elementary School 
  • Maurice Ortiz, Night Custodian at Bel-Air Elementary School
  • Megan Shanley, Occupational Therapist 
  • Renee Vialpando, Site Supervisor for Food & Nutrition Services at Lew Wallace Elementary School 

The honorees are being featured on the APS electronic billboards around town and will have an opportunity to lunch with Superintendent Reedy or her representative. They also will be recognized by the APS Board of Education and receive a lasting memento of the honor.

Learn More about April's Nominees

Maria Marquez, Community Schools Coordinator at Pajarito Elementary School

During her many years with the district, Maria Marquez has made a significant impact on the students, families, schools, and communities she has served. She started with APS overseeing high-quality before, after and summer programs. Her works always reflected a vision around students at the center, equity and inclusion, and family and community engagement. Her experience led her into more complex and challenging projects and work, especially in her current position as Community School Coordinator. 

"What makes Maria unique is not only does she step in where there is a need (whether it be with a student, staff or family member, or a new school-wide initiative), but she is always able to make the connection with people and their needs and link them to resources and opportunities," said Daphne Strader, Director for Coordinated School Health. 

Maurice Ortiz, Night Custodian at Bel-Air Elementary School

Maurice is described as "the hardest working custodian I have ever encountered" by Bel-Air Principal Suzy Palmer. He has a positive attitude each day and makes the school a beautiful and welcoming place to work and learn. He continually monitors the school for areas that need to be fixed and follows up with work orders. "Maurice is friendly, professional and goes above and beyond," said Ms. Palmer.

Maurice will come in early to help cover the day custodians shift, and he will cover other areas that need attention, even if they are not his. He greets each staff member with a professional and friendly manner and even looks out for the safety of teachers staying late.

"Maurice is extremely reliable, trustworthy and truly cares about the campus and the staff of Bel-Air Elementary." 

Megan Shanley, Occupational Therapist 

Megan has been an APS employee for two decades. She is an incredible resource in so many areas due to her depth of knowledge, desire to continue to learn, her ability and willingness to share her knowledge with those around her and her selflessness in putting her students, peers and teachers/administrators needs before her own. 

"She is an incredible representation of what a dedicated and selfless employee of APS looks like and is someone that sets the bar incredibly high and any other employees to be compared to," said Lisa Mick, with the Assistive Technology Unit of the Special Education Department. 

Renee Vialpando, Site Supervisor for Food and Nutrition Services at Lew Wallace Elementary School 

Renee is described as an invaluable asset to the school. For children with allergies, she has an alternate food tray available for them and a designated spot where they can eat. She gives hugs without question. She gives smiles every day and works hard at showing great leadership skills.

"It is heartwarming to see the love," said Patrick St. Onge, a detective with APD. "The example she sets should be a template for all others to follow. Her dedication and work ethic is unmatched. It truly takes a special person to do her job, and she takes it to another level." 

It’s very likely you know a deserving APS employee who makes us all proud. Someone who goes above and beyond, elevates their profession and demonstrates daily why the people who make public education possible are valued in our schools and homes.

Any individual who has been employed by Albuquerque Public Schools for six months or longer is eligible to be nominated for the Employee Recognition.

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.