About SVA » History


South Valley Academy is the brainchild of its two founding teachers, Alan Marks and Katarina Sandoval. They saw the need for a school that was personal and community-based. Together, they began discussing the concept of such a school with high academic standards that would have its roots deep in the community. South Valley Academy was founded in 1999, is chartered through Albuquerque Public Schools, and was named by its inaugural class of 2004. Our charter has been renewed through the 2025-2026 school year.

In 1999, SVA began preparation for its first year on the campus of Ernie Pyle Middle School, not far from its current location. The entire school consisted of four portable buildings, seventy ninth-grade students, and nine staff members. Following the 2000-2001 school year, operations were moved to the current campus located at 3426 Blake Road. Once the site of a large tree farm, its size has allowed for the addition of a permanent gymnasium, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade classrooms, Dragon Farm, and an athletics field.

Ballinger Field is named in honor of Ralph and Oma Ballinger who, upon hearing that the site would be used for a school, generously agreed to sell it to SVA for much less than it was worth. We remain grateful to the Ballinger family for their contribution to our school.

SVA opened a middle school in August 2012, expanding our reach to include grades 6-12. We celebrated our first graduating class to be promoted from the middle school, the Class of 2020, this past school year.

In October 2012, construction began on new facilities for our High School. Completed in the fall of 2013, these new buildings are the first permanent classrooms in the school's history.

South Valley Academy celebrated 20 years of operation during 2019-2020 and as we move forward we remain committed to the original vision of our founders: to provide a unique, personalized, and high-quality educational experience for our students and the community. Here's to the next 20 years!