Retirees, teachers, coaches and other employees were given end of the school year awards by the Socorro Consolidated School Board on May 20. The meeting room at Central Office was filled to capacity with family, friends and co-workers honoring the top educators of 2018-19.
Julie Romero is the Head Teacher at Midway Elementary and was there to represent its staff members of the year. Maggie Fegman was given Certified Staff Member of the Year.
“Maggie actually attended Midway before eventually teaching with us,” she said. “After leaving she came back and ever since then she has gone above and beyond in all parts and activities involved with the school. When we lost our fourth grade teacher this year Maggie was also willing to come in and help finish out the year for students by teaching math.”
The Classified Staff Member of the Year for Midway was Barbara McClane, a computer teacher that has been at the school for more than 20 years. She was also awarded the District Staff Member of the Year award.
The board began the ceremony by recognizing six retiring employees; Koenia Chavez (five years), Marianna Mathys (12 years), Larry Meeks (11 years), Jeffrey Miller (14 years), Steve Vigil (12 years), and Deb Westfall (17 1/2 years).
Next up were the Teacher and Employee of the year awards. Parkview awarded Iva O’Connor, the schools art teacher and custodian Bobby Vivian. Midway Elementary honored Fegman and McClane. San Antonio Elementary recognized first and second grade teacher David Hunter and librarian Melody Rapson. Sarracino Middle School’s Theresa Apodaca whom besides teaching began a new theater program for the school was honored along with Attendance Secretary Joan Madrid. Socorro High School recognized Belinda Sandoval who works with all students and Rosemary Hernandez who worked mainly in the medical department and is leaving the school. Sandoval was given the District Teacher of the Year honor and will go on to represent Socorro for the State Teacher of the Year awards.
Final awards handed out, which were chosen specially by the School Board, to Coach Charles Zimmerly, Preston White, Coach Joel Partridge, the entire CTE Team of educators, and the collective Food Service Staff.
In other business:
• Students from Science Olympiad presented its results from researching water conditions in Socorro county with money provided from a Turner’s Grant. While findings were above average in quality from other state areas the group did recommend all citizens use some type of filtration system as high levels of calcium and other potentially harmful chemicals were found in various places.
• The CTE Team presented educational opportunities for students in the future. They offer 23 classes in math and science subjects mainly for students outside of standard NM state school regulated courses. Recognized by most universities, the group estimates that a student taking full advantage of their program could save up to $20,788.80 in college tuition. They hope to expand programs at Tech, Eastern New Mexico and NM State particularly with agriculture. They also plan on expanding into programs such as automobile classes and the arts such as the student film festival they hosted this year.
• Theresa Apodaca presented students from both Sarracino Middle School and SHS whom made history by becoming the first teams from Socorro to compete and take home awards at the Supercomputing Challenge on April 29-30 in Albuquerque. Projects included a desalination system to be used for converting ocean water into drinkable water, a building materials test involving how different materials react to impact and a research project on the inner workings of cellular automata.
• The process of organizing the sale of the Old AIM High building at 904 Spring Street was approved by the board which will take place through sealed bids.
• As part of the initial $5,000,000 general bond agreement put into place in 2013 the board approved to sell another $1,000,000 in Socorro Consolidated School District 1 General Obligation School Bonds. The 2013 decision was made “for the purpose of erecting, remodeling, making additions to and furnishing school buildings, purchasing or improving school grounds, purchasing computer software and hardware for student use in public schools, providing matching funds for capital outlay projects funded pursuant to the Public School Capital Outlay Act, or any combination of these purposes, and paying costs of issuance of the Bonds,” according to the initial resolution.