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News from the Education Foundation

Posted: April 11, 2016

Foundation Gets $30,000 from Intel; Selects 3 Student Board Members

Three APS high school students join the APS Education Foundation's Board of Directors just as Intel makes a sizeable donation for grant-giving efforts.

Intel, which was one of the cornerstone partners of the APS Education Foundation when the Horizon Campaign was created in 2009, has donated $30,000 to the Foundation’s grant-giving efforts.

“We are always so humbled when a company with Intel’s commitment to education helps teachers and students in Albuquerque,” said Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus. “Its help will make it more possible for classrooms throughout the district to try new and innovative things, particular in science, technology, engineering and math.”

The Foundation’s Horizon Campaign has been the drivetrain of grant-giving programs since its inception, and with the help of small, medium and large donations, the drive has spawned a variety of funding opportunities, including the Horizon, Achieve, Success and Varsity awards. Those cycles place hundreds of thousands of dollars back into schools every year, and focus on innovative proposals in STEM, Literacy, Fine Arts and Clubs/Activities.

“Intel was the first major corporate sponsor of the Horizon Campaign and I remember the day we were informed very distinctly,” Casaus said. “We are just as excited today.”

For several years, the APS Education Foundation has placed district students on its board of directors. The experience has been so beneficial that by June, that number will increase to three.

The Foundation announced that three students – La Cueva junior Lauren Donahue, Rio Grande sophomore Julio Chavez and Nex+Gen Academy junior Mikayla Salgado – will join the group pending a vote of the board later in April.

Donahue, Chavez and Salgado will succeed two students – La Cueva’s Hailey Fortin and Early College Academy’s Ben Holubiak – who will graduate in May. Fortin has been accepted to the United States Naval Academy Prep School and Holubiak is headed to the University of Colorado. He recently was named as a Daniels Scholar, one of the most prestigious scholarships afforded to New Mexico seniors.

The incoming three students were invited to join the board after an arduous interview process. There were six finalists who interviewed with current members of the board, said Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have some of the best students in APS express an interest, and making the choice, or even to create a list of finalists, was very difficult,” Casaus said. “Julio, Lauren and Mikayla will do a great job of representing their peers, and really, the community at large.

The Foundation, recently ranked as the No. 7 K-12 education foundation in the country regardless of size,  has 23 voting members, and four ex-officio (non-voting) members, including Superintendent Raquel Reedy and Board of Education President Dr. David Peercy. The panel is comprised of community members who believe in the mission of public education.

“You’d think that this would be a wonderful learning opportunity for our students and it is,” Casaus said. “But I think you’d find that most of our other board members believe that they learn a lot from our students’ input.”