Talon News - Good Local News

By Debbie Israel


Aztec School Board Meeting


December 22, 2017

Jacque Ritchie

Supt. Carpenter offers a hug to Student Resource Officer Heather Knibbs of the Aztec Police Dept., thanking her for her service to AHS

The Aztec School Board met on Dec. 19, at the multi-purpose room of Aztec High School. The meeting had been rescheduled and moved to a larger venue.

Kirk Carpenter started the meeting by offering thanks to the many entities that were involved in helping to keep our students safe during the school shooting on Dec. 7. The list was long, but Carpenter offered his sincere thanks to everyone who played a part in protecting our children on that day.

Carpenter said he intends to visit all the agencies in the area and personally thank them. He has already attended the Aztec City Commission and County Commission meetings to offer his praise for their services.

It was an emotional evening for many of the people in the room as Mr. Carpenter thanked several County departments, including CEO Kim Carpenter, his brother. He also offered his thanks to San Juan County Sheriff's Dept, San Juan County Fire Department, County Emergency Manager Mike Mestas, Aztec Police Department, school administrators, bus drivers, IT people, and many others, saying there are not enough words to convey his feelings for all their help. Two employees of the school were recognized as heroes for the actions they took on that day. Ms. Katie Potter, a substitute teacher, hid her students in a closet and kept them safe from harms way. Custodian Emery Hill sent out the first message, alerting everyone that there was a problem. He also distracted the shooter as he traveled down the hallway. Mr. Carpenter also thanked a parent who saw a student, unaware of the shooting, late for class that morning, walking toward the shooter, and took her away from the school.

Jacque Ritchie

TALON Editor J.R. Sykes, Debbie Israel, Jessica Selph, and artist Austin McMcGlade's wife Brandy, presented portraits of Casey and Paco to the school

Mr. Carpenter repeatedly recognized his staff by saying "One call ... that's all it took," to make things fall into place. He said after making one call, he didn't need to worry about how things were going ... he trusted that his staff would get the job done, whatever it was, and they did. One call was made to insure that all the other schools had lunches that day. One call was made to secure McGee Park for re-unifications of students and parents. One call was made for messages to go out to parents. And many more "one calls" were made.

TALON editor and staff presented the School Board with framed portraits of the two victims, Casey Jordan and Paco Fernandez, that were graciously donated by the artist, Austin McGlade.

When the meeting moved on to business items on the agenda, board members were visibly shaken after mentally re-living the events of that fateful day. They quietly and quickly took care of the business at hand. Two fund-raisers were approved, two requests for field trip travel were approved, and reports were heard. The only action item on the agenda was a financial agreement to accept any funds designated to the school as a result of the tragedy.


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