Two NM schools named 2023 ESEA Distinguished Schools


By New Mexico Sun

Dec 21, 2023

The New Mexico Public Education Department has announced that Pojoaque Intermediate School and Albuquerque School of Excellence have been awarded the distinguished titles of 2023 National Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Distinguished Schools. The awards, conferred by the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA), will see the recognized schools receive a commemorative award package, feature prominently on the ESEA Network website, and be showcased in a special presentation at the National ESEA Conference.

According to a press release by the New Mexico Public Education Department, selected schools demonstrate collaborative teaching methods, targeted professional development for staff, personalized initiatives for student achievement, and robust partnerships with parents and the community. State education agencies nominate schools for the Distinguished School designation based on three criteria: sustained outstanding student performance and academic growth; successful efforts in closing achievement gaps among student groups; and excellence in serving special populations of students.

New Mexico Public Education Secretary Arsenio Romero expressed his pride in nominating both institutions. He said, "It was an honor to nominate Pojoaque Intermediate School and Albuquerque School of Excellence as National ESEA Distinguished Schools. Incredible student gains in performance and academic growth were achieved because of their school administrators, teachers, students and families working together in a holistic and innovative environment. Congratulations to both schools!"

Albuquerque School of Excellence Executive Director Mustafa Ayik also shared his thoughts on receiving this recognition. He said, "Receiving the ESEA Distinguished School recognition speaks to the incredible teamwork and collaboration within our school community."

According to information available on its official webpage provided by the state of New Mexico, The New Mexico Public Education Department aims to prepare all students for college, career, and life through collaborations with educators, communities, and families. Their mission emphasizes a culturally responsive educational system that meets the social, emotional, and academic needs of students.