An Extraordinary Year
2019-20 was a year filled with important milestones for our school, including successfully completing our 10-year reaccreditation with ISAS, launching new funding initiatives, navigating the enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and transitioning to a new head of school for the first time in 19 years. Thank you for your friendship and thoughtful philanthropy supporting the Academy during this important time, which sustains us and gives us hope for a very bright future.
Gifts to Albuquerque Academy in 2019-20 supported 1,157 students in grades 6-12, of which 52% were girls, 48% were boys, and 53% were students of color. The sixth-grade class came from 55 schools throughout the state. The diversity of our student body fosters mutual respect and the sharing of unique ideas, important components of learning and growing.
Gifts supporting student life provide unique and unforgettable school experiences, making a memorable Academy education possible. Academy students are world-class artists and athletes, scholars and explorers.
In the fall, 27 teams competed across six different sports, and in the winter, student-athletes played on 19 teams in five different sports. Chargers brought home one state championship (girls swimming) and five runners up (girls and boys cross country, girls soccer, volleyball, and boys swimming) in a year without a spring sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were also honored to be named the top high school athletic program in the state of New Mexico since 2018 by MaxPreps.
Academic choices and opportunities were plentiful. Twenty-two visual arts courses and 45 performing arts courses were offered, 46 students were All-State music participants, and students earned 86 Southwest Region Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. We were excited to launch our new computing department, which added a seventh-grade course, opened a STEAM lab in the 6-7 division, and more than doubled enrollment in programming electives. In our language classrooms, students learned Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Latin.
More than 80 clubs were offered across all three divisions. So many recognitions were earned by our students, including a national speech and debate champ and bringing home the state championship by the chess team. Way to go, Chargers!
Physical Plant Upgrades
Our physical plant is responsible for the enormous task of maintaining our facilities and 312-acre campus. Over the past year and a half, the Academy’s grounds crew has transformed the landscape at parking lot 5 from a tangle of overgrown juniper bushes and dying pine trees inundated with bugs, rodents, and trash to a pristine turf-covered space lined with eight specimen trees (six box elders and two Chinese pistache), all of which were provided by generous donors. In addition, three of the lot 5 islands have been converted from barren hotspots to elegantly designed landscapes weaving together a tapestry of climate-appropriate trees, grasses, and flowers surrounded by a colorful mix of gravel. With each passing year, the trees in lot 5 will provide cars and their owners with an increasing level of cover and comfort from the sun, our constant companion in New Mexico. Also, beginning in May 2020, the natatorium has undergone a massive facelift, including the installation of a new surface (plaster and tile) in both pools, a new pool deck, a new boiler, a new pool/water treatment system, new paint, new fire sprinklers, and a new roof. Your support helps with important projects like these!
Honoring Andy Watson
The Andrew and Carol Watson Tuition Assistance Fund was fully endowed in 2020 and will provide financial support for families who qualify for tuition assistance, enabling deserving students to attend the Academy by sustaining one of the pillars of our school’s mission. This named endowed fund was established by 95 inaugural donors who gave $59,716 to honor Andy and Carol’s 19 years of service to the Academy and to wish them well in retirement. Many programs, initiatives, and traditions were championed by Andy over his years at the Academy, including alumni commencement speeches, the beloved tradition of seniors and sixth graders processing up the path to convocation, becoming a Global Online Academy founding member with nine other world-class independent schools, the school song — Light the Way, the five-acre solar array, the Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Gage Award in recognition of an outstanding teacher. We thank Andy for everything he has done!
Financial assistance supports a key aspect of the school’s mission. For 2019-20, we provided 24% of our students (281 recipients) with need-based tuition assistance totaling more than $4.5 million. Fifty students received full grants ($24,795), and $17,145 was given to families receiving assistance to help cover expenses for supplies and extracurricular activities, all of which can be offered with the support of our generous donors. In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, donors contributed to the Endurance Fund, which provided $170,693 in emergency tuition-assistance grants to 32 students whose families experienced an unexpected loss of income in Spring 2020.
Giving TuesdAAy: December 1, 2020
Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. With service at the heart of the Albuquerque Academy mission, we are proud to support this unified day of giving. To further encourage service in our community and annual giving to the Academy, we are excited to join the movement of inspiring charitable giving on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Please mark your calendar for December 1 and make plans to participate in the Academy’s Giving TuesdAAy!
We are grateful to all in our community who made gifts to Albuquerque Academy during the 2020 fiscal year. Your gifts help the Academy continue to be a place where students learn, grow, and succeed. Thank you for supporting our students as they make their mark on the world.
The many names listed here demonstrate that every gift to Albuquerque Academy – no matter the size – truly matters.
Many people in our Academy family have given their time, talent, and treasure, making an incredible impact on our school. Donor support creates learning opportunities and supports all facets of Albuquerque Academy’s mission and for that we extend a heartfelt thanks. All gifts – annual gifts that make an immediate impact to endowed funds that last in perpetuity – enable the school to achieve its mission and remind us every day that with the right resources, there’s no limit to what we can make possible together.