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News from 2022-2023

Posted: January 25, 2023

UNM Alumni Association Honoring Superintendent Elder With its Rodey Award

Accolade given to individuals who have contributed significantly to the field of education.

The University of New Mexico Alumni Association is honoring Superintendent Scott Elder for his leadership in education.

The association has selected Elder for its Rodey Award, named for the man considered the father of UNM. It is given to individuals whose leadership efforts have contributed significantly to the field of education. The award will be presented at a dinner in February.

“UNM played such an important role in getting me where I am today, so receiving this award is a tremendous honor,” Elder said. “I will continue working hard every day to give students the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.” 

Elder has worked at Albuquerque Public Schools for more than 30 years. He began his career teaching English as a second language at Highland High School in 1991 and went on to serve as principal at four local schools. He subsequently moved to the district office and served as chief operations officer until he was named superintendent in 2020.

Elder earned his MBA from UNM’s Anderson School of Management in 2017. He also received a master of secondary education degree and a bachelor of arts degree in political science and Spanish from UNM.

He was inducted into the Anderson Hall of Fame in November.

Elder and his wife, Dr. Deborah Elder, have been married for 28 years. Their two sons, Sam and David, are both Lobos.

The award is named after Bernard Shandon Rodey, an attorney who served in the territorial legislature. Rodey, who founded the Rodey law firm, sponsored legislation to create the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. When that bill seemed destined for defeat, he spearheaded the effort to roll it into the omnibus bill that established UNM, a school of mines in Socorro, a college of agriculture and mechanic arts in Las Cruces and an insane asylum in Las Vegas.