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Success Maker award recipient Dawnell Massey, second from right, is joined by award sponsors from Tate Branch Auto Group, from left, Aaron Dishman and Tate Branch, and APS Superintendent Dr. Crit Caton, far right, at Monday’s school board meeting. (Photo Courtesy Thad Phipps)

The Artesia Public Schools Board of Education reviewed the district’s 2016-17 report card from the New Mexico Public Education Department at Monday’s meeting.

Overall, the APS received a letter grade of B, determined by averaging the grades for each individual school in the district. The school grades were released in late August and found Artesia with four As (Grand Heights Early Childhood Center, Central and Yeso elementaries, and Penasco School); two Bs (Hermosa and Yucca elementaries); and four Cs (Artesia High School, Park Junior High, Zia Intermediate, and Roselawn Elementary).

For the year 2016, Artesia High School was listed with a graduation rate of 82 percent.
In other business Monday, Park family consumer science teacher Dawnell Massey was named the October recipient of the Success Maker award.

Massey was presented with a check for $500, a plaque, and bouquet of flowers from Tate Branch Auto Group. She was recommended for the honor by one of her students, who wrote, “The teacher I pick for extra mile is Ms. Massey. She always helps me with my work. She is funny and also very nice. She is a great cook. She teaches us how to cook and sew.”

The board also received a report from Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Student Services John Ross Null on two new prevention programs being implemented in the district. Crisis Prevention Intervention training is being utilized to equip staff with strategies for addressing serious student behaviors. The “Too Good For…” program will help develop students’ social skills.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Thad Phipps received the board’s approval to “gift” the two portable buildings currently located at Zia Intermediate School which formerly housed the district’s Special Education Department to New Mexico Military Institute.

NMMI is in the process of renovating several buildings on their campus and will use one of the buildings to house staff during construction and convert the other into a baseball locker room for their students. NMMI will hire a moving company to relocate the buildings, at which time the district will repair and restripe the parking lot where the buildings are currently located to proved additional parking for the school.

Phipps also received the board’s approval to accept a request for proposal from Penasco Valley Telecommunications to provide internet services for the district and to construct and renovate the softball batting cages and bullpen at the Mack Chase Athletic Complex.

That project will be completed through a CES contract from Waide Construction, and the funding will be taken from the HB33 account and will not affect operational dollars. The project consists of constructing two additional batting cages and an extra bullpen for the softball team to utilize during practices.

APS Superintendent Dr. Crit Caton reported the resignation of Courtni Callaway, special education teacher and coach at Park Junior High, and the employment of Barbara Casares, DD preschool assistant, Grand Heights; Amy Gomez, special education teacher and coach, Park; and Ramona Hecht, custodian, Park.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the school board will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, in the Lowell M. Irby Board Room at the Administration Building.