Outstanding Employees of January – Albuquerque Public Schools
Congratulations to the January winners:
- Doris Baldwin, Kindergarten Assistant at San Antonito STEM Elementary School Magnet
- Valerie Hazelbaker, Family Liaison Officer at Chaparral Elementary School
- Helena Livingston, eCademy High School Registrar
- Leith Page, Principal of Monte Vista Primary School
Winners are featured on APS electronic bulletin boards throughout the city and will be recognized by the APS School Board, receiving a lasting memento of the honor.
Learn more about January’s winners
Doris Baldwin, Kindergarten Assistant at San Antonito STEM Elementary School Magnet
Doris worked for 36 years in San Antonito, where she also went to school. She goes above and beyond by greeting each child by name in the morning, regardless of grade level; decorating staff doors for their national recognition day (i.e. janitor and manager days); by learning the grade level curriculum so she can better reinforce the content; and facilitating the morning meeting, adding Spanish lessons each day (she is fluent in Spanish). “I can’t see anything she hasn’t done for the school and its students,” said colleague Diana Pandolfo.
Doris is active in the community, where she often sees students and their families. They are thrilled to see her and Doris continues to build relationships with them. She keeps in touch with former families and students and is invited to their high school and college graduations and other celebrations. This year, she is teaching the grandchildren of some of her former students.
Valerie Hazelbaker, Family Liaison Officer at Chaparral Elementary School
Val is an exceptional ray of light and one of the nicest people on campus. She is always positive and goes above and beyond to serve our families and our campus as a whole. Val raised over $1,000 to benefit the community of Chaparral. This has enabled her to serve over 40 families each week with food, clothing and other basic household needs. Not only is she the liaison with the family, but she is also the chef for the children. She is professionally trained as a chef and shares her love for cooking with students. Through Kids Cook, she helps students discover new foods, teaches them basic cooking skills and offers families the opportunity to prepare meals together.
Val is also a member of our Presence Team, Theme Team, Sunshine Committee and PTA. She constantly mobilized to help with homework and any other necessary tasks.
“Val goes out of her way to make every person, big and small, she meets feel heard, seen and special,” said Michelle Tudor, assistant director of Chaparral. “As front desk staff, we recognize all of her hard work and the intricacies of her work, but we want EVERYONE in town to know how amazing she is. We call her our unicorn because she is just SO awesome!”
Helena Livingston, eCademy High School Registrar
eCademy accepted over 400 new students this year, largely due to COVID, and many of those students were from outside APS. Helena worked tirelessly and diligently to request the records of these new students and enter their transcripts into Synergy. Since many of these new students were seniors, it was imperative that records were accurate, entered correctly, and in a timely manner so that students could be appropriately placed in appropriate and necessary classes.
During last year’s Summer School, eCademy had over 15,000 registrations, and Helena was instrumental in helping students from all over APS and beyond.
Helena has worked at eCademy longer than almost anyone else at the school. She dedicated her career to the school and played an important role in its mission to help students prepare for graduation. This is often a more at risk and transient student population, there is an overwhelming amount of record keeping and data entry. During the pandemic, eCademy enrollment was higher than ever.
“I can only imagine how many students have graduated from high school who might not have graduated otherwise, due to Helena’s commitment to tracking down records, seeking completion, and course descriptions and entering documentation,” Councilor Lynn Ramsey said. “She’s a quiet heroine who never complains and always strives to be ethical and what’s in the best interest of the students.”
Leith Page, Principal of Monte Vista Primary School
Leith goes above and beyond for our school. The school doesn’t have a janitor, so she cleans the school – sweeping the cafeteria and emptying the trash cans after lunch, among other things. She also does a lot of chores during recess because there is no one else to do them.
“This amazing person works so hard and stays up late every day to make sure everything gets done,” said teacher Lisa Troxel. “She stands out because she puts school before her own health and safety. She doesn’t ask for help because she thinks the teachers are already overworked.”
How to appoint an employee
You can appoint an employee by completing an online application. The nomination must be completed by someone other than the nominee (i.e. no self-nominations are eligible).
Winners will be selected monthly by a peer acclaim task force.