2014: Los Alamos Education News Highlights

Cutting the ribbon in front of Aspen Elementary School Nov. 17, from left, LAPS Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt, former LAPS board member Morrie Pongratz, Assistant Superintendent Gerry Washburn, former board member Thelma Hawn, former Superintendent Mary McLeod, board member Matt Williams, Aspen Principal Kathryn Vandenkieboom, board member Kevin Honnell, board President Judy Bjarke-McKenzie and board members Jim Hall and NancyAnn Holmes. Photo by Salvador Zapien/ladailypost.com
Aspen Elementary School Construction Completed. The red ribbon was cut at a ceremony Nov. 17 officially marking the opening of the newly remodeled Aspen Elementary School at 2182 33rd St. The project boke ground in November 2013 and was completed in November 2014.
From left, Superintendent Gene Schmidt, School Board President Judy Bjarke-McKenzie, Board Vice President Kevin Honnell, Board Secretary Matt Williams, Board Member David Foster and Board Member Jim Hall. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
Resignation of School Superintendent Controversy Ends with Apointment of  LAPS Superintendent Gene Schmidt as Interim Superintendent. The Seach is on for New Superintendent. The controversy concluded at the March 27 School Board Meeting when the Board voted unanimously on a motion made by Board Vice President Kevin Honnell to appoint Schmidt as interim superintendent for the period June 30, 2014 to June 30, 2015. A new superintendent is currently being sought through a nationwide search.
Educators and supporters make their way to the Roundhouse Saturday for a rally to protest educational policies. Photo by Salvador Zapien/ladailypost.com
More than 2,000 Teachers and Supporters Attend Roundhouse Rally. Thousands of educators from around the state descended on the Roundhouse Saturday to protest the educational policies of Gov. Susana Martinez and her Secretary of Education designee Hanna Skandera. Chanting “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Gov. Martinez has to go,” approximately 3,500 teachers and their supporters marched from the Santa Fe Plaza to the Roundhouse Feb. 15.
New Mexico Teacher of the Year Carolyn Torres, left, was honored by the Los Alamos School Board Tuesday. Chamisa Principal Debbie Smith presented Torres with flowers and gifts and expressed her pride in Torres who teaches third grade at Chamisa. ‘Teach with passion and share your expertise. It makes a difference,’ Torres said. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
Los Alamos Teacher of the Year Carolyn Torres Named 2014 N.M. Teacher of the Year. Torres traveled to Washington, D.C. to represent New Mexico.

Deborah Belew-Nyquist. Courtey LAPS

 Dr. Deborah (Debbie) Belew-Nyquist of Silverdale, Wash. accepted the principal position at Los Alamos High School. She took up the reins at the high school this fall.



Cedric Page

Executive Director of UNM-Los Alamos Cedric Page Stepped Down July 1. Dr. Wynn Goering has assumed administrative responsibility for the campus until a new director is chosen.




Lynne Higdon holding her awards for New Mexico Elementary PE Teacher of the Year. Courtesy/LAPS

Lynne Higdon, the physical education teacher at Barranca Elementary School, was named the 2014 New Mexico Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year as well as Los Alamos Teacher of the Year.



Principal Sandy Warnock holds a posting that highlights LAHS as one of the America’s Most Challenging High Schools. Courtesy/LAPS

Los Alamos High School Honors Spark Controversy over Whether Ordinary Students are Well Served by Emphasis on High Achievers.

Los Alamos High School (LAHS) has been named one of America’s Most Challenging High Schools for 2014 by the Washington Post.


Out of 19,411 public high schools, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Los Alamos High School 500th of the “Best High Schools in America.”

High schools in the top 500 in the nation received Gold Medal ranking for the 2014 school year. Achieving Gold Medal ranking also qualified Los Alamos High School for status as a 2014 STEM “Best High Schools.”


Board members Jim Hall, center, and Kevin Honnell congratulate NancyAnn Holmes on her selection as the District 3 representative on the School Board. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

The Los Alamos School Board Chose NancyAnn (Nan) Holmes to serve the remainder of David Foster’s term representing District 3 on the Board in November. Foster resigned because he is moving from town. His term ends in March. A School Board election will take place in February for three of the five seats on the Board.


Jumpers bounced around the clock on the lawn of Los Alamos High School for 24 hours in a jump-o-thon to raise funds and support for LAHS teacher Joy Handsberry as she undergoes chemotherapy. Courtesy photo

Students and faculty at Los Alamos High School raise funds for cancer treatment of beloved math teacher Joy Handsberry. Many fundraisers were held to riase funds. Funds were also raised to take Handsberry along  on a student trip to Europe this summer.
Jennifer Guy. Courtesy photo

Jennifer Guy Selected to serve as Principal of Mountain Elementary School. Guy most recently served Los Alamos Public Schools as a kindergarten teacher at Pinon Elementary School.

James Dinkel, left, personal representative of the Zenas and Irene U. Boone Estate, presents a $250,000 check to LAPS Chief Financial Officer Lisa Montoya. Attorney Reid Griffith assisted in the presentation of the scholarship. Courtesy photo

School District receives $250,000 for student scholarships in memory of  Irene U. Boone. Zenas Boone bequeathed a needs-based scholarship in the memory of of his wife Dr. Irene U. Boone, a long time pediatrician in Los Alamos.


The Los Alamos Middle School A Team, from left, Capt. David Gao, Phillip Martin, Sonyia Williams, Presley Gao and Coach Naomi Unger. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos Middle School’s A Team won the New Mexico State Middle School Science Bowl Feb. 8 and went to Nationals in Washington D.C.The team was 16th in the nation out of 4,000 teams.


Pinon Elementary School Principal Jill Gonzales shows off the school’s 50th birthday cake Friday during the school’s celebration. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

Pinon Elementary Celebrates 50th Birthday.



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