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News from 2022-2023

Posted: October 14, 2022

For the 5th Year, APS Recognizes Outstanding Employees

October's outstanding employees include a transition specialist, newcomer support specialist, elementary school principal, and head custodian.

If you are employed by Albuquerque Public Schools, you know that we have some very dedicated professionals on our team. For the fifth straight year, the district is recognizing at least a few of these outstanding employees through the Employee Recognition Program

All staff member who has been employed for at least six months can be nominated, though we ask that you not nominate yourself.  

Nominate an APS employee!

October's Honorees

  • Kimberly Ely – Transitions Specialist, Transition Services, Del Norte High School
  • Farida Ibrahim – Newcomer Support Specialist, Van Buren Middle School
  • Jacqueline Lovato – Principal, Matheson Park Elementary School
  • Maria Plata – Head Custodian, Dennis Chavez Elementary School

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

Learn More about October's Nominees

Kimberly Ely – Transitions Specialist, Transition Services, Del Norte High School

Kimberly Ely has shown how big her heart is time and time again. She is caring, compassionate, a hard worker, understanding, and most of all selfless! She is someone students look up to, trust and confide in. 

Kimberly has supported students in all areas of their lives. Many students she works with are disadvantaged, and she makes sure she does all that she can to set them up for success in life and in school. 

Camryn Council, a special education teacher at Del Norte High School, shared a story that demonstrates Kimberly's kindness. "One of her former students who had graduated came to Ms.Ely for emotional support after her mother had passed. Out of the kindness of Ms.Ely's heart, she helped this young lady with planning all of the necessary arrangements for a funeral. She always puts others ahead of herself without question and never wants anything in return."

Farida Ibrahim – Newcomer Support Specialist, Van Buren Middle School

Farida is brilliant, compassionate, and hard-working. Speaking both Swahili and English, she works with newcomer students to support their transition into school, and she does this in a thoughtful and compassionate way.

When you speak with Farida, she is immensely present with you in a way that makes you feel heard, and when Farida speaks you know that she speaks with sincere compassion and thoughtfulness which is truly rare.

Farida spends countless days and nights supporting her students academically and socially. She works with teachers and staff to ensure that they get the support that they need as well.

"Farida has been with APS for almost four years, and there is not a day that she waivers in this compassion and thoughtfulness," said Antonio Baca, Refugee/Newcomer Program Manager. "She is passionate about working with newcomers and in education, and we are all indebted to her for wisdom." 

Jacqueline Lovato – Principal, Matheson Park Elementary School

Jacqueline goes above and beyond not only to make students feel loved and supported but also to each member of the staff. She makes everyone feel like they're part of the team, treating them all with the same love and respect. She runs an organized and structured school, always with a beautiful smile on her face and a cheerful good morning awaiting students and staff. She is a dedicated employee and a perfect role model for staff and students. 

"I have never worked for a more dedicated principal," said Kathleen Ramsey, educational assistant. "She lifts you up and never tears you down. She makes you feel important to the team. She is good at what she does and Ap{S is blessed to have her." 

Maria Plata – Head Custodian, Dennis Chavez Elementary School

Maria is an extremely hard worker. She goes above and beyond her job description to keep the campus beautiful and safe inside and out.

When she is not working inside the building cleaning, organizing, and fixing items that are broken, you can find her outside pulling weeds, picking up trash, and working in the Serenity Garden. She interacts with students in a positive way, talking with them and making them laugh.

 "I have never seen someone work so hard all the time," said Kelly Hester, a behavior redirector at Dennis Chavez. "There is never a moment when you see Maria that she is not working hard at some task. She takes such pride in keeping our entire campus beautiful and safe, and does it all with a positive attitude and a smile!" 


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.