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PED leader is following Philly’s stay-at-home order

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s secretary of education is leading from afar amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Public Education Department spokeswoman told the Journal that Ryan Stewart is working from Philadelphia, where his family lives.

“NMPED employees, including Secretary Ryan Stewart, are currently following the governor’s recommendation of working remotely to help stop community spread of COVID-19,” spokeswoman Nancy Martira said in an email.

Stewart may have to self-isolate for a time when it comes time to return to the PED offices.

READ ON, KIDS!: Story Time in the Park will continue this summer, though it will look different under the public health order.

Albuquerque Public Schools will be giving out goodie bags with a book, reading strategies and other at-home learning resources for kids to take home.

The bags will be distributed Monday through Thursday from June 8 until July 16 at city and county parks.

Teachers will give out one per vehicle on a first come, first served basis. Grab-and-go lunches will also be served Monday through Friday.

Location details can be found at

“Research shows that young children who have access to books in the home, and who are read aloud to regularly, have the best chance of becoming successful readers,” APS said in a news release.

2020 STEMY WINNERS: Local students and teachers are being honored for their involvement in science, technology, engineering and math. The Air Force Research Lab Tech Engagement Office recently announced the 2020 Excellence in STEM Awards – or “STEMY” – recipients. The awards recognize people and organizations for their work in STEM.

Hundreds of nominations were accepted from across the state. Students were judged based on their passion for STEM and participation in STEM activities. Educators were judged on their ability to instill a love of STEM in the classroom and “going above and beyond” to teach the subjects.

Awardees from Albuquerque include:

• Nathan Bryce, student at La Cueva High School.

• Iris Hernandez, teacher at Susie Rayos Marmon Elementary School.

• Chaushie Forster, teacher at Garfield Middle School.

• Stefi Weisburd from the University of New Mexico.

A full list of the honorees can be found at

Individual winners will get $1,500, according to a news release.

Shelby Perea:

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