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HomeNewsNational Alliance for Public Charter Schools Honors Local New Mexico Leaders

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Honors Local New Mexico Leaders

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) has announced two New Mexicans as the recipients of the prestigious 2024 Charter School Changemaker Award.

This recognition is part of last week’s annual National Charter Schools Week (May 12-May 18, 2024), celebrating those who have made significant contributions to the advancement of public charter schools and community empowerment.

This year, the Changemaker Award highlights seven individuals whose dedication and innovation have significantly impacted students and families, ensuring that educational environments are equipped to provide quality education. These advocates have been instrumental in fostering excellence and innovation within their communities.

New Mexico Advocates Shine Among Honorees

Among the esteemed recipients are two remarkable advocates from New Mexico: Daniyal Hussain, a student from Albuquerque, and Julia Rivera-Tapia, a parent and administrator from Las Cruces.

Eric Paisner, Acting CEO of the NAPCS, expressed gratitude for the honorees’, writing, “Through dedication, innovation, and unwavering commitment, the recipients of the 2024 Charter School Changemaker Award show us the path to a brighter future in public education. These seven remarkable individuals embody the transformative power of passionate advocacy in their charter schools and communities. They are shaping the lives of students and enriching their communities, while championing the pursuit of high-quality public education options for all families. We are deeply grateful for their voices, courage and leadership,”

Daniyal Hussain is a senior at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School who NAPCS said has made important strides in education advocacy.

As a graduate of the Rising Leaders Initiative Class of 2022-23, Daniyal founded an advocacy club at his school, successfully campaigned for critical educational bills at the New Mexico State Legislature and played a pivotal role in securing funding for International Baccalaureate testing across the state.

NAPCS wrote that Hussain’s future aspirations include studying political science and public policy in college, with a long-term goal of becoming a lawmaker.

Julia Rivera-Tapia has emerged as more than a school leader at J. Paul Taylor Academy in Las Cruces.

According to NAPCS, her efforts have improved communication channels, increased parental involvement, and strengthened community bonds within the school. NAPCS wrote in a press statement that Rivera-Tapia’s leadership on the school’s Equity Council and her commitment to ensuring bilingual communication are only part of her dedication to inclusivity and student support.

Changemakers Celebrated on Capitol Hill

The 2024 Changemakers were honored at a special event on Capitol Hill on May 15, where they participated in a panel discussion sharing their experiences and advocacy efforts.

Find the stream of this moment here.

Full List of 2024 Charter School Changemaker Award Recipients:

  • Daniyal Hussain, Student, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Julia Rivera-Tapia, Parent and Administrator, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Jametrice McAdams, Parent, Hueytown, Alabama
  • Zak Dominello, Executive Director, Denver, Colorado
  • Eric Pettigrew, Former State Lawmaker, Seattle, Washington
  • Cheryl Stahle, Academic Administrator, Parkersburg, West Virginia
  • Dr. Chris Her-Xiong, Founder and Executive Director, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin