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About Us

THMS Mission

Prepare students to be compassionate, responsible, contributing members of society who have achieved proficiency in all middle school standards by the time they complete middle school.

THMS Vision Statement

All students can succeed.

About Our School

Mr. Hillerman

Tony Hillerman Middle School (THMS) opened in August 2009. THMS had the distinction of being named after the famed author, Tony Hillerman.

Mr. Hillerman won 21 awards and honorary degrees for his work, wrote a series of Navajo Tribal Police mysteries featuring officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, and was a longtime journalist who became the editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican and was chairman of the University of New Mexico's journalism department from 1976 to 1981.

The Albuquerque Public School Board voted in November of 2008 to name the school after Mr. Hillerman after he passed away in October of 2008. There are many of his books and personal items in the lobby of our school to remind the student, staff, and visitors of the great author.

Remembering Our Past

While our school is still considered "young", we have had a lot of changes. One of those changes was with our school logo. This is our original logo "Thunder Spirit".

On August 20, 2009, Albuquerque Public Schools held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Tony Hillerman Middle School. In recognition of both the famed New Mexico writer and his use of Navajo and Pueblo Indian themes, a Navajo artist was commissioned to create the school’s original logo and mascot, “The Thunder Spirit.”

The mascot’s eyes show a guardian watching over its people and the open mouth is its sharing of wisdom, a voice of authority and knowledge.

The 3 jagged lines indicate lightning and thunder. Lightning is a symbol of speed and swiftness for warriors and is often painted on horses. The arrow points/triangles for thunder also represent the strength and power a warrior shows in defense of the tribe.

Within the logo, the use of 3 items is repeated often: 3 facial features, 3 lightning bolts, and 3 lines, or “sprouts,” at the base of the image. Modern perspectives suggest they represent the past, the present, and the future. In many Native American tribes, including the Navajo, it represents “The 3 Sisters.”

The 3 Sisters are “corn,” “beans,” and “squash.” The sisters are essential for life. They sustain it. They also represent an ancient method of farming where each level of seed plant nurtures, sustains, and promotes the growth of each other. Especially in the harsh climate of the southwest, the 3 sisters represented continued life and growth.

Writer Tony Hillerman, this school, and its original logo “The Thunder Spirit” are tributes to Navajo and Native American traditions that continue to educate and inspire generations of people.

This logo can still be seen around campus. Can you find where "Thunder Spirit" is?