Once on probation as a low-performing school, Colinas del Norte Elementary School in Rio Rancho has blossomed thanks to the efforts of principal Suzanne Harper. She wrote and received grants and enlisted community support to build a reading garden, acquire new playground equipment, paint murals and create a "bio-park" with tables for students to eat outside. Mrs. Harper also instituted a three-tier mentor program for new teachers and devised an intervention matrix to assess the need for remedial "focus groups" with volunteer tutors from the community. After her first year as principal, the school's math scores increased 27 points. Mrs. Harper was honored with a Certificate of Recognition from New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron and received an Outstanding Community Service Recognition from the New Mexico legislature.
1983 University of New Mexico, B.S.