Multiple educators in the Socorro Consolidated School District were recognized during the board meeting on Monday night for receiving a New Mexico School Board Association Excellence in Student Achievement Award.
According to the NMSBA, the awards are to “promote student achievement in school districts and assist local school boards in recognizing school leaders, staff and other individuals who have played an important role in improving student achievement at the local level.”
The first educator recognized was superintendent Ronald Hendrix as he was nominated by Dave Hicks. Hicks said he nominated Hendrix due to everything that has been done to get students back in classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m very proud of how everything in the district came out, very proud of it,” Hicks said. “All of the moves you made, all the heat you have been under… It’s been tough. You stayed on it and as a district, we have been a leader in this state. We are very proud of that.”
Hendrix has been with SCSD since 2017 and has worked to make various improvements to the district while working with everyone in Socorro.
“I want to say that this award really belongs to the team,” he said. “I think we have the best team in the state and there is no way this would have even been a possibility.”
Jeff Tull, who is the technology director, was the next person recognized as he was nominated by Mike Hargather.
“I want to recognize you for the last year-and-a-half,” Hargather said. “You and your team have done an amazing job getting this district ready for all the remote learning and adapting things on the fly… Just incredible the way you and your team responded to getting the technology ready, making updates when needed and being there for people whenever they called with problems.”
Throughout the pandemic, Tull has worked to get Chromebooks and Amazon Kindles ready for students to use for remote learning.
“It’s all a team effort. I’m glad that I can be part of it,” Tull said.
While this is Sonia Lawson’s first year at Sarracino Middle School, she was nominated by Sharon Sessions due to everything she has done to make sure it is a safe learning environment for students and staff.
“I thought you really stood out in terms of what you did and what your team did to put your school together, all the training that your staff went through from coordinating where everyone was going to walk to everything,” Sessions said. “When I talked to your teachers, all of your teachers knew exactly what the expectations were and there was some nervousness because it was changing, but I’m really grateful for the work you did and getting your team together and I appreciate that.”
Throughout the academic year, Lawson has made sure that her students have everything they need to be successful. When it was announced that middle school students would be returning to in-person learning, she had multiple plans in place and many safety guidelines ready to be rolled out.
“Thank you for that honor… I appreciate that,” Lawson said. “It is not a lone effort by any means, I have an amazing team and they do whatever is necessary and I’m so appreciative of the entire effort of my school and staff.”
James Chavez nominated Pamela Mackenzie-Licha who is a teacher at Parkview Elementary. “She is a long-time teacher for the school district…” Chavez said. “She is a great teacher. She gave so much of her life to our kids, as did her husband when he was here. I really, really do appreciate her.”
All of the teachers for SCSD were recognized as a unit from NMSBA and were nominated by Pauline Jaramillo.
“We appreciate you and all of your hard work does not go unnoticed,” she said. “We appreciate every single one of you. Thank you for all you do.”
Jaramillo also nominated the transportation department.
“I want to thank all of you for being a good team and for taking care of our kids when they are being transported,” she said. “We appreciate all of you. Thank you for all your hard work.”
Transportation Director Danny Hicks accepted the award on behalf of the department.
“Thank you very much Pauline and I, too, am very honored to be part of this family and part of this team,” he said. “We have a great group of bus drivers. It’s a great team and we couldn’t do it without all of them.”