Silvery Minnow Sanctuary with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Community Engagement at ACE Leadership High School brings real projects to life such as designing and building kiosks and bridges for the Silvery Minnow Sanctuary on the Bosque in the South Valley for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that will be the first outdoor classroom of its kind in the U.S. when opened in 20113.
Helping the Sawmill Community Land Trust build its community garden with the help of ConocoPhillips:
What is community engagement and why is it important to us?
ACE Leadership will not be an island onto itself, but rather will seek continually to build relationships with the communities in which we reside. We believe that a strong commitment to positively engage with the community will lead our students to succeed in becoming the future leaders of New Mexico and the ACE Professions. Through community engagement, we will build relationships based on reciprocity and mutual respect on every level, from partnerships with national organizations to informal conversations over coffee with neighboring residents.
One of ACE Leadership’s Guiding Principles is that “Our work is asset based.” Assets can come in all shapes and sizes ranging from a specific technical expertise, to a local business, to a soccer field. We believe that both our school and the communities we come from are full of assets, and that each is enriched through the building of relationships that allow for the exchange of these assets and experiences.
Who do we define as community?
The four communities listed below have been identified as being our focus thus far.
The Sawmill Neighborhood
The Sawmill is the geographic community in which our school resides. It is important that we contribute to their well being as a responsible member of the community living side by side with individuals, businesses, and others who helped create the area we now inhabit. We will work hand in hand with the Sawmill to find ways in which our school can be an asset to them.
Local Architecture, Construction and Engineering firms comprise the ACE Professions we are preparing our students to enter. Because of ACE Leadership’s focus on preparing students for a successful future in Architecture, Construction and Engineering, it is essential that we engage continually with this community to ensure that every aspect of our students’ education is relevant to current industry standards. Through numerous continuous opportunities such as exhibitions, ACE professionals interact directly with our students. These interactions are facilitated through the CEC.
Any and all communities that feed our current enrollment base are contributing communities. These are the communities that our students and their families come from or live in. We will seek to engage these communities by developing relationships to ensure our students’ home communities are actively involved in their education, thus building the support network that young people need to become successful both at ACE Leadership and in their lives beyond.
Part of our school’s mission is service to young people who are currently underserved by the traditional school system, as evidenced by their socioeconomic status. Based on the zip codes represented in our current student body, we have identified the 10 neighborhoods listed below to build relationships and serve their young people.
2. South Broadway
3. South Valley
4. Los Duranes
6. Wells Park
7. Santa Barbara-Martinez Town
8. West Mesa / West Side
9. Southeast Heights
Below is information on the school’s founding partners.
Associated General Contractors – New Mexico Building Branch [AGC]
AGC led the development of ACE Leadership High School, which aligns with AGC’s national education agenda and the Obama Administration’s School Reform initiative.
The unique public-private partnership with AGC and its powerful membership of industry leaders has created vital mentorship support to students and unparalleled career opportunities for all ACE Leadership graduates. Through ACE Leadership, AGC and its members are investing in the future leaders of their profession.
Buck Institute for Education [BIE]
BIE has joined ACE Leadership to create a relevant project based learning experience. With BIE’s assistance, ACE Leadership has constructed a new vision for contextualized learning where every class is taught through the lens of Architecture, Construction and Engineering. Also, BIE has been an important partner in training our teachers to design projects that embrace the revolutionary concept of “learning by doing, every day in every class.”
New Mexico Forum Foundation [NMFF]
The New Mexico Forum Foundation recognizes the need to provide organizational development technical assistance and training as a means to establish, support, and expand positive youth development in New Mexico. The NMFF strongly believes that organizational, youth and practitioner support, combined with leadership and professional development training are key to building positive youth engagement in New Mexico.
Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center
Eagle Rock High School Professional Development Center is a critical partner for ACE Leadership. The organization is highly skilled at providing technical assistance to small high schools. Their work focuses on overall instructional and organizational leadership in addition to effective professional development and support for staff. ACE Leadership uses the Center as a “critical friend” to ensure that school programs and faculty development are comparable to the highest performing schools in the nation. The formal relationship with the Center began in July 2009 during the prototype session held in Albuquerque. The Executive Director of the Center attended and evaluated the session, then consulted with the ACE founders and school leaders concerning the success of the “learning by doing” instructional strategies.
New Mexico Building & Education Congress [NMBEC]
NMBEC is a not-for-profit organization created by the commercial construction firms in New Mexico with the goal of providing educational opportunities to young people in the community. The group dedicated start-up funding to create ACE Leadership High School and has committed to continue to provide operating funds for the school. The organization intends to build the capacity of ACE Leadership to establish a construction profession school in Albuquerque that can disseminate best practices to teachers and schools across the state.
Education Resources Consortium [ERC]
Larry Myatt has had an ongoing consulting relationship with the ACE Leadership founders for the past 10 years. He is a nationally known expert in small school development with expertise in creating options for students with high potential but limited opportunities for success. He has worked with ACE Leadership to develop a support platform that ensures high academic expectations are met with high levels of social and emotional support.
Sawmill Advisory Council [SAC]
The SAC is a community-based organization that sees education as the way to achieve positive community development. It was instrumental in the historic environmental justice movement of the Sawmill community and is now an advocate for positive youth development, a provider of place-based learning and continues to organize around a community schools model. As the anchor community partner at ACE Leadership High School, SAC is instrumental in bringing neighborhood opportunities to students to learn about community service.
For a complete list of our current partnerships, please visit the Partners page on our website at: www.aceleadership.org/partners