New Teacher Orientation: ATF Providing Support from Day 1!

(ATF President Ellen Bernstein & AFT NM President Whitney Holland)

Saturday, July 31st, our union, the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, co-hosted the annual New Teacher Orientation (NTO) at the APS Berna Facio Professional Development Center. Everyone wore masks in accordance with APS and CDC recommendations, but that didn’t hamper the enthusiasm and the heavy turnout. It was clear people are ready for a great school year.

Every year, we welcome new educators to our district by offering top-notch professional development courses, led by union members, designed to help our new colleagues get off to a stellar start.

New Educators also shop through our ATF Educator’s Emporium, a collection of high-quality materials donated by newly retired educators. More than 120 new educators attended and took home (literally) tons of educational materials to help set up their new classrooms.

Our union’s Organizing Team spent the summer planning for this event and gathering and sorting materials for the Educator’s Emporium. They were assisted at NTO by more than 50 ATF and AFT NM volunteers from across the district as well as members of the AFT NM Retirees.

NTO also featured presentations by ATF President Ellen Bernstein, APS Superintendent Scott Elder, and Michelle Lemons who coordinates the ATF/APS Mentor Program.

Our state union’s (ATF New Mexcio) newly-elected president Whitney Holland was also in attendance. Watching the new employees shop through the Educator’s Emporium, she said,  “The support that ATF shows new educators really sets the tone for a fruitful partnership with APS going forward. From day one, it’s clear that ATF has a vested interest in providing quality professional development, access to classroom materials, and showing new APS employees that the union is the ‘first friend and best friend’ of employees in this district

Holland went on to say, “While I listened to ATF members talk to potential members, something that really struck me was the list of things that ATF has accomplished for educators over the years.”

This event showcased how dedicated ATF is to our new educators. That’s because YOU are the union!

As a result of this year’s NTO, new APS educators are going to begin the school year supplied, well-trained, and feeling empowered. Educators have the ability to shape our future and create a new, better world. During her presentation on Saturday, ATF President, Ellen Bernstein said, “Whether you’re a teacher, a counselor, a nurse or a therapist, you’re preparing your students to live successfully in a world that has not even been invented yet.”

Let’s invent that world together. Stand in solidarity with your co-workers to create a world-class education system for all New Mexican students.


ATF would like to thank:

  • All ATF, AFT NM and Retiree volunteers
  • The ATF Organizing Team
  • Professional Development Instructors: Sonya Autrey (Lew Wallace ES), Elizabeth Thomas (Lew Wallace ES), Karn Gustafson (APS Technology), and Andrea Prangley (Volcano Vista HS)
  • AFT NM President Whitney Holland
  • APS Superintendent Scott Elder
  • APS/ATF Mentor Program Coordinator Michelle Lemons
  • ATF Unified COPE Chair Sara Attleson
  • APS Departments who set up as vendors
  • APS Police
  • Jacob at Berna Facio PD Center
  • Berna Facio PD Center Custodial Staff
  • APS Chief Operations Officer Dr. Gabriella Blakey
  • Michael Thomas Coffee



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