Judy Nelson Elementary in Kirtland received a visit from the “Straight A Express” on Monday, September 11. The Straight A Express was led by acting New Mexico Secretary of Education Chris Ruszkowski, who is meeting with all schools in the state of New Mexico who earned an “A” from the NMPED for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Ruszkowski met with Principal Steve Carlson and Vice Principal Dr. Debi Tom before visiting the sixth grade classrooms of Mrs. Lindsey Haws, Mrs. JoAnn Henderson and Mrs. Wendy Hunt. The fifth and sixth grade classes at Judy Nelson saw some of the highest proficiency growth rates and were a major factor in Judy Nelson Elementary receiving an “A” for the second year in a row.
Ruszkowski took the time to ask the students what they enjoyed about school and he received answers that brought smiles to everyone’s face.
“Whenever you walk through the halls, you can just feel everybody trying to do better,” one student said.
“We learn from each other and we help each other learn,” another student said.
And finally, Mrs. Haws herself said, “The kids like to be here and the staff likes to be here.”
Ruszkowski also got to meet the namesake for the school, Mrs. Judy Nelson herself, and visited the bi-lingual classroom, where he was especially impressed. It was an afternoon filled with recognition of the great things Judy Nelson Elementary students and staff accomplish every day.
The Straight A Express also stopped at Mesa Elementary in Shiprock to visit with third grade teacher Mrs. Andrea Thomas, who is a member of the Secretary of Public Education Teacher Advisory team. Mrs. Thomas is one of 25 teachers to sit on the team and provides valuable insight to acting Secretary Ruszkowki from a teacher’s stand point on education issues around the state.
School grades for the entire state can be viewed here: http://aae.ped.state.nm.us.
View the story of the Straight A express from the Department of Education here: https://www.newmexico.org/straightaexpress/post/day-8-farmington-and-central-consolidated