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New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

PRESS RELEASE

February 10, 2003

'Education on the Rise Day' Proclaimed for February 13

(Santa Fe, NM)-Governor Bill Richardson has declared Thursday, February 13, as "Education on the Rise Day" at the state Capitol with a proclamation that recognizes 10 New Mexico schools that have risen from school improvement and are no longer rated as probationary. The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) and the Horace Mann Companies are sponsoring and celebrating "Education on the Rise Day" with a news conference at noon at the SDE, Mabry Hall, and during a reception to follow.

The governor's proclamation points out that 81 percent of the state's rated public schools are performing at or above the standards set by the New Mexico State Board of Education. And more students are in school, families are engaged in their children's education and school communities are ensuring that children attend school in environments that are safe, secure and supportive

Many of the 10 schools will have displays in the Hall of History on the west side of the Capitol Rotunda all day showing how they raised the levels of learning among their students. Various legislators and Horace Mann representatives will also salute the schools' accomplishments at the news conference.

"The day-long celebration is an opportunity for all New Mexicans to celebrate the accomplishment of these schools' best practices. The news conference will provide the media with the opportunity to learn about and report the schools' accomplishments as fully as they covered the earlier announcement placing the schools on probation, " said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis.

As part of the news conference, John Lankford, SBE interim president, will present "School on the Rise" awards to leaders from the 10 schools. A reception will follow in the SDE's atrium with refreshments prepared by the students from Pojoaque High in the Pojoaque Valley Public Schools.

The 10 schools being recognized are Sunland Park Elementary, Gadsden; Roosevelt Elementary and Gallup Middle, Gallup; MacArthur Elementary, Las Cruces; Tomé Elementary, Los Lunas; César Chavez Elementary and R. M. Sweeney Elementary, Santa Fe; Rio Costilla Elementary, Questa; East Grand Plains Elementary, Roswell; and Zuni High in Zuni.

Two of the ten schools - R. M. Sweeney Elementary and Tomé Elementary -- are profiled in the just-released SDE 2002 Annual Report, available on the SDE's web site as www.ped.state.nm.us .

For more information, call Ruth Williams, the SDE's public outreach director, at 476-0393.