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Posted: March 29, 2011

APS Education Foundation Once Again Recognizes Selfless Seniors

Gov. Martinez to Take Part in Wednesday’s Celebration of 27 Students

The Albuquerque Public Schools Education Foundation will honor 27 Selfless Seniors at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in the gym at Sandia High School. Gov. Susana Martinez will join family, friends, principals, classmates and APS administrators, including Superintendent Winston Brooks, in congratulating these students and recognizing them for all they do.

This is the fourth year the APS Education Foundation has worked in partnership with acclaimed Albuquerque photographer Frank Frost to celebrate the accomplishments of seniors who are serious about their futures, yet find ways to put others before themselves. Students who qualify as Selfless Seniors are those who give back to their community, who haven’t been recognized by their high school, who have made a positive impact on others facing difficulties and whose character sets them apart.

“We are happy to once again honor a group of students who give back to their communities not because their actions will earn them praise or attention, but because they believe in doing what’s right,” said Superintendent Brooks. “We’re pleased the governor will have an opportunity to meet these amazing kids who are representative of the students we have in APS.”

This year’s Selfless Seniors were nominated by friends or teachers and staff from their schools, based on their knack for putting others before themselves. In addition to public recognition, the students had their photographs taken by Frank Frost Photography. Posters of the photos will be on display at their schools and at several local businesses.

“The good work that goes on in our communities and schools is a day-to-day, hour-to-hour effort, and we’re thrilled to honor that,” said Phill Casaus, executive director of the APS Education Foundation. “The best part of Selfless Seniors is that you find the kid next door can often be the hero next door.”

The students from 12 APS high schools and three alternative schools are quiet leaders, volunteers, part-time employees, community activists, honor students and athletes. They are devoted to family, friends, school, their communities and their faith. They are described as empathetic, compassionate, humble, appreciative, impressive and responsible.

This year’s Selfless Seniors are:

  • Monique Parks and Jerika Lujan, Albuquerque High;
  • Carlo Aragon and Shayne Dilley, Cibola;
  • Mark Acton and Rina Sylejmani, Del Norte;
  • Kelsey Raybould and Kaitlyn Wakefield, Eldorado;
  • Sahar Freedman and Clare White, Highland;
  • Tony Nguyen and Victoria Santillanes, La Cueva;
  • Savannah Krebsbach and Dao Pham, Manzano;
  • Alejandro Sedillo and Cheryl White, Rio Grande;
  • Erin Beck and Samantha Bowman, Sandia;
  • Deanna Pflieger and Angelica Ruiz, Valley;
  • Christina Rodriguez and Daniel Whiteley, Volcano Vista;
  • Kevin Escobar and Sarah Sedillo, West Mesa;
  • Gabriella Armijo, CEC/ECA;
  • Oscar Gillreath, Freedom High; and
  • Victoria Rodarte, New Futures.