Principal Stephani Treadwell and teacher Michelle Perez
The Albuquerque Public Schools Education Foundation is a non-profit organization for APS. Your funds go to creative academic projects, programs and clubs.
Each year, the Foundation recognizes three outstanding educators for their original ideas for the benefit of their students. Among the honorees:
- Stephani Treadwell, Principal of Collet Park Elementary School
- Michelle Perez, a teacher at Highland High School
Stephani Treadwell, Collet Park Elementary School
Born into education, Stephani Treadwell stated that both of her parents were educators. She grew up in and loved this atmosphere, and she knew her career path would be in education.
Treadwell introduced the 4-H program to her elementary school. This is the first school she worked at that suffered from a socioeconomic population, and she noted that the school that had fewer or no socioeconomic students performed better. So she realized that she needed to invest in things that her students enjoyed doing, like dance classes, physical education, art classes, etc. Lower socioeconomic status kids didn’t have that, and she realized that it needed to be implemented when the kids were in school . So she brought the 4-H program into everyday school life. After she added this program, attendance increased sharply and 23% of chronic absences dropped to 7%.
Treadwell wishes children had longer school days so these types of programs would be added and children would enjoy going to school.
Michelle Perez, Highland High School
Michelle Perez developed Guided Reading for Beginning Readers. She said Highland has a large refugee and immigrant population. Perez said she loves meeting kids where they are and moving forward from there. They were able to get a $25,000 grant for a library of preschool through 6th grade books for everyone in school to use. Perez allows her students to choose a book that they can read and understand.
Perez always knew she wanted to be a teacher. But getting there wasn’t easy. She moved to the United States from Canada when she was in 7th grade and she struggled in school. Perez explained how she barely passed and graduated from high school. It took her 10 years, but she went back to school at the age of 26. Perez continues to encourage her students that they are never late or too old to go back to school.