3 New Mexico schools recognized as 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Students and staff at the Albuquerque School for Excellence have been working hard – and it is getting recognized.

“We are one of the three schools in New Mexico to be awarded for a Blue Ribbon award and we are one of 15 charter schools to be nominated for this nationwide,” said Mustafa Ayik, the school’s executive director.

The award is based on a school’s progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“We are very proud to receive that recognition, to be nominated for closing the achievement gap, because two years ago when the pandemic started, we were all talking about how to close the achievement gap,” Ayik said.

Administrators at the school said their student test scores are above the national average. The school is a state charter school.

“So we are our own district, so we make our own decisions with our admin team and governing council,” said Vickie Kwiecinski, K-5 principal at the school. “We have a lot of flexibility.”

The school is also tuition free and select students on a lottery system. This year, they have just under 1,000 students.

“It’s fulfilling and I can’t wait for the teachers to really let it set in, it’s been hard, the last few years have been hard on teachers,” said Kwiecinski.

Acequia Madre Elementary in Santa Fe and Texico Middle School in Texico also received the National Blue Ribbon award. These schools are part of almost 300 schools nationwide to be recognized.