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News from the Education Foundation

Posted: April 25, 2017

Celebrating the Past, Present and Future

Some of the best students and teachers in Albuquerque Public Schools were honored during the inaugural Gold Bar Gala sponsored by the APS Education Foundation.

The APS Education Foundation’s Best In Class recipients knew they might be receiving a certificate and some applause at the April 21 Gold Bar Gala.

Four academic programs were celebrated during the APS Education Foundation's Gold Bar Gala.

They didn’t know they’d be getting money – in all, $32,500 – as part of the deal.

Four innovative programs received big checks, highlighting a touching evening that honored the past, present and future of Albuquerque Public Schools. The first-year benefit also netted an estimated $55,000 for the Foundation’s grant programs, which are slated to give nearly $500,000 back to district schools and classrooms this year.

“It’s very gratifying to see some of the best students and teachers honored and I think Gold Bar did that in really special ways,” said Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus. “When you add in the ability to honor some of the people who helped shape this district and affected tens of thousands of kids in the process, it was a terrific evening.”

About 440 people attended the banquet, including the Foundation’s 2017 Selfless Seniors. They are: Ana Kilgore, Albuquerque High; Clarizza Morales Chacon, Atrisco Heritage Academy; Kelsey Clark, Cibola; Timothy Mondloch, Del Norte; Kawai’ola Wong, Eldorado; Pholopater Faltas, Highland; Reagan Vice, La Cueva; Wendy De La Cruz, Manzano; Adela Castaneda, Rio Grande; Amanda Miner, Sandia; Adriana Torrez, Valley; Susan Hastings, Volcano Vista; Guadalupe Moreno, West Mesa and Natalie Chambers, Nex+Gen Academy.

The Foundation honored four grant-winners that had shown exceptional progress thanks in part to the funding they’d been afforded. They were: STEM Trajectory (Charles Newman of Valley High; Mark Hendricks, West Mesa High, Alma Ripley, Carlos Rey Elementary); Manzano Mesa Community Literacy Mentoring Program (Kirsten Sanchez and Peggy Candelaria); New Futures High School Lap Time Reading Club (Sara Winsett) and John Adams Blue Sky Program (Anamargarita Otero and Paul Newcomb). All will be able to continue the work they’d started with large checks, which were presented by two Foundation Board members – Julio Chavez of Rio Grande High and Lauren Donahue of La Cueva.

The district’s initial Hall of Honor recipients – Janet Kahn, Dale Kempter, John Milne and Janet Montoya Schoeppner – were honored for the mark they’d left in the fields of fine arts, music, administration and classroom teaching. Their plaques will hang on a wall at City Centre, which will include future recipients as the years go on.

“We’re already looking forward to next year,” Casaus said.

Casaus noted the event could not have taken place without the generosity of many in the community, including Awards Sponsors University of Phoenix, Technology Integration Group, and Comcast;  Gold Sponsor Sound and Signal Systems of New Mexico; Bronze Sponsors Parnall Law Firm, Pepsi, Grand Canyon University and Wells Fargo.

Selfless Seniors also got a surprise: gift bags full of gift certificates and mementos from the Jewish Community Center, Hinkle Family Fun Center and Clear Channel Outdoor. They also received a free portrait from noted Albuquerque Frank Frost, who helped create Selfless Seniors.