Annual Community Graduation

The community graduation celebration is an biennial event that demonstrates to our community members that their achievements at all levels have value to our community. All levels of achievement should be celebrated. We have kicked off this annual event in 2018. 

We believe that by celebrating and honoring our communities’ achievements we encourage an environment for lifetimes of learning, which will continuously better Santa Fe and surrounding areas for future generations. Our communities' accomplishments deserve to be recognized. These types of uplifting public events are also a testament to the the talent and education that the community members of Santa Fe hold to local government to encourage local recruitment versus out of state recruitment for positions.

This year, we unveiled our "It Takes a Village Award" in honor of Susan Duncan. This award was created in honor of Susan Duncan to recognize very special champions of children and families in Santa Fe who have been working for decades to create a more healthy, just, and sustainable community.

Susan Duncan Lifetime Achievement Award

“It Takes A Village” Award Program

The old adage goes: “it takes a village to raise a child.”

There is no question that the whole community can contribute to the lives and well being of our young people. We not only want to celebrate the capacity-building, learning, and educational achievements of our community– but to honor those who rally behind our young people –throw out their elbows to make space for youth and family leadership and self-advocacy – and who are weavers of community – helping build the fabric that holds us all together and fundamentally supports our young people’s growth.

Susan Duncan was a lifelong educator; an activist for racial and economic justice; and a beloved member of the Santa Fe community. Susan passed on last year in 2017 - into the circle of amazing activists and leaders whose shoulders we stand on. She was also a tireless leader – serving as the President of the Santa Fe School Board. Her leadership style was based on her dedication to support and uplift others and work her butt off doing so. She was not one for the limelight but was always happy to give her all behind the scenes in order to advance educational equity, social, economic, environmental and racial justice, and to improve the lives of the young people and families whose lives she touched so deeply.

At Stanford University, friends nicknamed her "Christopher Robin" for her adventurous yet practical spirit and her strong moral compass.

In Santa Fe, she directed after school programs and spearheaded many collaborative educational programs. She was elected to the School Board in 2013, where she championed bilingual education and advocated for the needs of the District's immigrant students. She was also a member of the Mayor's Cabinet on Children and Youth and served as Chairperson of the Santa Fe Community Foundation's Collaborative Working Group on Extended Learning. 


In honor of Susan Duncan’s Legacy for A Lifetime of Giving, award honorees are

Gaile Herling

Deacon Anthony Trujillo

By supporting and attending this annual celebration you help to elevate and uplift the visibility of our community's accomplishments and sustain leadership of young people and their families. 

To support this community celebration in 2020 and years to come, please contact us at:

[email protected]


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