Talon News - Good Local News



November 30, 2018

by David Edward Albright, TALON

The November 14th, 2018 Aztec Municipal Schools Board Meeting included a special presentation to recognize the McCoy Elementary 'Student Ambassadors'. Proud parents and smiling children wearing their Ambassador Vests filled the meeting room. The students from various grades were asked to introduce themselves to the Board.

The idea behind the Student Ambassador program is to make new students feel welcome and accepted. They greet them with a friendly 'hi'---show them around and spend time with them at recess and lunch. They also do community service projects like collecting donations of food and blankets for the Aztec and Farmington Animal Shelters. McCoy Elementary Principal, Tatia Fernandez said, "I'm so excited to present our student ambassadors and our wonderful Vice Principal, Mr. Harrison and our Social Worker, Mrs. Briggs...they really spearhead this effort with the students."

Stacie Briggs said the program started last year with the 'School Buddies and the 'Friendship Team'. It didn't stop with greeting and befriending new students, as the leaders took on the community projects. They decided to show caring and love to the local animal shelter. Last year they brought so much pet food and blankets that it overtook Jesse Harrison's office. "It looked like Petco, it smelled like Petco," he said. Taking a field trip, the students delivered all the goods to the Aztec Animal Shelter.

As partners with 'Sandy Hook Promise' this year, their first initiative was to start with 'Hello Week'. "Half of the Student Ambassadors were at the front door and half were at the bus line," Briggs said. "We also collected 'Coins for Kindness' because we wanted to show our School Resource Officer and show him a little kindness...however, we collected way more 'Coins for Kindness' than we could ever imagine...and in four days McCoy Elementary collected over $200 dollars...and that was impressive. The whole school got involved and the kids asked "who can we say thank you to?". They included the custodians and the lunch staff. "So there were 'Cards of Kindness' all over our school," she said.

This year they are partnering with the newly-formed 'Ambassadors at Lydia Rippey' to collect goods for both shelters and they will be making doggie treats for the sheltered animals. Mrs. Briggs extended an invitation on behalf of the students to the School Board to join them for a Christmas lunch on December 13th. Harrison said of the program, "It's giving them leadership skills and just being good people...this is our McCoy family here---we're very proud of them---and expect great things of these children." When asked by School Board President, Roger Collins what he liked best about the program, Diego said, "Mainly that we're helping people".

McCoy Ambassadors at School Board Meeting-

The Ambassadors, selected by their teachers are: Aydsen Martinez, Olivya Anaya, Jalan Chavez, Bailey King, Kenya Vargas, Mylz Gee, Avah Olguin, Isla Weiss, Aylah Albright, Emma Reidhead, Diego Lombard, Ava Ellis, Ashton Ellis, Luke Nichols and Zoe Rudder. Mrs. Briggs, who serves as Social Worker for both McCoy and Lydia Rippey Elementary said, "We will be participating in all aspects of Sandy Hook Promise. I will be organizing 'Say Something Week' for the Spring as a follow up to 'Start With Hello/Kindness Week'---that we have already done."

The Ambassadors got to practice graduation when Deputy Superintendent, Tania Prokop said. "So this is how we get you ready to walk across the stage and get your diploma." Each Ambassador received a 'Tiger Pencil' and shook hands with Prokop. The room resounded with applause as the glowing children posed for photos.


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