Kim Mizell presented award at annual banquet

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FARMINGTON — The Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce presented Bloomfield School District Superintendent Kim Mizell the Christine Donisthorpe Excellence in Leadership Award at the annual chamber banquet on March 9 at the SunRay Park & Casino.

Mizell earned the award, which is a special award given on a merit basis, for her “creativity and problem-solving skills,” according to Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce Board President Janet Mackey.

“She took over the school district when the bottom was tanking out in the oil fields and all of the reserve funds were drying up, and she brought some really creative ideas to the school district,” Mackey said on March 16, adding that “she’s just brought so many innovative ideas to Bloomfield.”

Mizell has served as superintendent for Bloomfield schools for three years, but has lived in Bloomfield since she was a child. She said the award is “very appreciated” and an honor.

Bringing innovation to the school district is one of her priorities as superintendent, Mizell said.

“Being innovative — as far as the school magazine and applying for free lunches for all the students — has facilitated raising funds through advertisement and saving families money,” Mizell said on March 16.

The award is designed to celebrate exceptional leadership in the community. The award is named in honor of Christine Donisthorpe, who was “a true trailblazer for women,” Mackey said. Donisthorpe, who died in July 2017, was a state senator from the Bloomfield area.

More than 180 people attended the event, where several other awards were given, according to Mackey.

Cynthia Atencio, a city administrative assistant who was recently elected Bloomfield’s new mayor, received the Circle of Excellence award for her dedication to and support of the city of Bloomfield as an employee.

Karina Camacho of Citizens Bank received the Customer Service of the Year award.

Freddie Garcia and Ferlin Willie of the city of Bloomfield Parks Department jointly received the Public Employee of the Year award.

Zofia Sliwinski, a special education teacher at Naaba Ani Elementary School, received the Educator of the Year Award.

Halo Services Inc., a Bloomfield-based oil field service company, received the Business of the Year award.

The event also featured a silent auction in which 94 items were auctioned to attendees. Mackey said she didn’t know how much cash was raised for the chamber through the auction, but all the proceeds fund community children’s events put on by the chamber, including an upcoming Easter egg hunt, a kids’ night out scheduled for May and holiday events with Santa Claus.

Three new board members — Teresa Hensley, Celeste Lujan and Dorothy Nobis — were introduced during the March 9 event, Mackey said.

The event was meant to be a celebration after what Mackey called a “hard year.”

“We know that it’s been a hard year for businesses, and we appreciate all they’ve done for the city of Bloomfield and the Bloomfield Chamber,” Mackey said. “We’re there for them, and together we can get through it."

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or mpetersen@daily-times.com.

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