S’treat Cream Treat Truck provided free pints of ice cream to Sandia Vista Elementary staff, including physical-education teacher and coach Celeste Parrish, left, and fifth-grade teacher Jenna Graham. Students’ families made that treat possible. Courtesy photo.

On the one-year anniversary of the pandemic that changed everything, parents at Sandia Vista Elementary school focused on the positives by honoring the staff and teachers for dedication to students.
With 60 percent of the school’s students on campus for in-person learning and 86 staff members working hard for those children using COVID-safe practices and distance learning, the idea for “Share the Love” was born.
Students and their families were encouraged to write “Notes of Gratitude” to everyone who contributes to the success of students: secretaries, bus drivers, lunch workers, teachers, coaches, counselors, leadership staff and others.
On the morning of March 12, students and staff had a surprise visit from Rio, the mascot of the New Mexico Runners indoor soccer team, which plays at the Rio Rancho Events Center. Rio entertained with his dance moves while greeting students outside.
“The New Mexico Runners arena soccer organization would like students to know that they are amazing, strong and are the true champions of our community,” said Andres Trujillo, president and CEO of the Runners. “We applaud our educators for staying strong for their students in these unprecedented times, and our organization is proud to support Sandia Vista Elementary, along with all of Rio Rancho’s public schools.”
Also, the school is fundraising to support its activities and programs. The public can donate through Venmo.
“The staff at Sandia Vista has done an amazing job over the past year,” said SVE first-year principal Miranda Jeantete. “When there was uncertainty, our team pulled together to ensure that all students receive a quality education…
“Throughout the constant change, our students have continued to be resilient,” she said. “Having the opportunity to educate the students of Sandia Vista has filled our hearts with so much joy, and we are grateful to have a community behind us to share the love.”
Jodi Feuille, the mother of a Sandia Vista student, said “Teachers can do virtually anything, and we can’t mask our gratitude for everything our wonderful staff has done for our children. It takes a big heart to help shape little minds, and our teachers are multi-tasking educational rock stars.”