Chapter BC. P.E.O. Donates Compassion; Fruit To LA Cares

Los Alamos Chapter BC, P.E.O. officers Sue Bombardt, Beth Riker and Diana Little present fruit to LA Cares. P.E.O. International promotes post-high school education for women through grants and scholarships. Linda Burns has served for 23 years as secretary of LA Cares, the food pantry for needy residents of Los Alamos County. Burns also is a Los Alamos Living Treasure and an active member of Chapter BC. Years ago, this P.E.O. chapter made the compassionate decision not to exchange holiday gifts, but rather to contribute to LA Cares. Annually, chapter members brought bags of non-perishable

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New Mexico Families, Educators Find The Positive In Education By Celebrating National School Choice Week

NSCW News:

SANTA FE — In the midst of a school year like no other, New Mexico families and educators are gearing up to safely spotlight education options during National School Choice Week 2021.

New Mexicans are hosting 196 virtual or at-home celebrations during the Week. 

Taking place annually since 2011, School Choice Week is America’s largest celebration of educational choice.

While typically the Week is packed with large, in-person events, school choice advocates have adapted to this year’s health and safety protocols, opting for drive through scavenger hunts, virtual information

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On The Job: ‘Challenge: Tomorrow’ Traveling Trailer Team

On the job Thursday are members of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s ‘Challenge: Tomorrow’ Traveling Trailer Team from the Bradbury Science Museum. The team gathered in a local driveway to mock up the layout of their trailers. From left, Stacy Baker, Jonathan Creel, Jennifer Cline and BSM Director Linda Deck. They are developing two trailers in which to travel to festivals, STEM events and schools and universities around New Mexico. The trailers will carry experiential components that Lab staff will use to help people understand what LANL scientists are working on to make a better tomorrow.

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Governor’s ‘Moonshot’ Remains Key Priority As Education Makes Up Almost Half Executive Budget Recommendation

Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart


SANTA FE — Nearly half of state spending proposed in this week’s Executive Budget Recommendation would go to education, a clear sign that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s education “moonshot” remains a key priority amid this year’s economic and health crises.

The proposed fiscal year 2022 budget, released Monday by the Department of Finance and Administration, recommends spending $3.3 billion of the $7.3 billion recurring general fund total on public education.

That is a 4 percent increase from FY21 as the state moves aggressively to meet

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PED: 10 New Mexico Public Schools On COVID-19 Watchlist

PED News:

SANTA FE – Ten New Mexico public school buildings appeared on the COVID-19 Watchlist in the week ending today, Jan. 15, signifying they had at least two Rapid Responses within a 14-day period. 

Schools On COVID-19 Watchlist:


  • James Monroe Middle


  • Aztec Maintenance


  • Cobre High


Ojo Amarillo Elementary


  • College Lane Elementary


  • Las Cruces Public Schools physical plant


  • Los Alamos High


  • United World College-USA


  • Goddard High School
  • Roswell High School

During that same period, no schools were placed on the

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Highlights From First School Board Meeting Of 2021

Newly elected School Board President Melanie Colgan

LAPS News:

The Los Alamos School Board gathered virtually Tuesday evening for its first meeting of the new year Tuesday.

The first order of business at the meeting was to elect board members into officer positions.

After reviewing roles and responsibilities and considering those interested in serving as an officer the board casts its votes.

The following positions were filled:

  • Board President Melanie Colgan;
  • Board Vice President Ellen Ben-Naim; and
  • Board Secretary, Dawn Jalbert.

“I am honored and humbled to have been elected president

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First Round Of Vaccines For LAPS Staff Begins Monday

A survey of LAPS employees indicates that 93 percent of staff want to be vaccinated. Courtesy/LAPS

LAPS News:

The first round of COVID-19 vaccinations for Los Alamos Public Schools staff begins Monday, Jan. 18.

Staff over age 50 who are working directly with students and are in close contact with students are eligible to be vaccinated in this first round. This includes, for example, elementary staff, middle and high school special education staff, bus drivers running routes, elementary school custodians and secondary coaches.

Just in case there is a reaction to the Pfizer vaccine, EMTs and

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LAHS Senior Named To All-National Concert Band

LAHS Senior Griffin Light is the only student selected to perform in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) 2020 All-National Concert Band Honor Ensemble. Courtesy/LAPS

LAPS News:

Los Alamos High School Senior Griffin Light has been selected as a Flute 1 in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) 2020 All-National Concert Band Honor Ensemble.

Light is the only student selection from New Mexico.

“I’m ecstatic at having been selected, and although there have been moments where I’ve doubted myself and even occasionally considered the possibility that this was

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County Library Conversations Series Starts Jan. 21

Mesa Public Library in downtown Los Alamos. Courtesy/LAC


Mindfulness and meditation, public health in Northern New Mexico, crafting during COVID and times of crisis, author Ginger Gaffney reading from her book Half Broke, and the film Coded Bias are the upcoming offerings in Library Conversations at Los Alamos County Library System.

All events are 7 p.m. every other Thursday Jan. 21 through March 18 via zoom HERE:

  • Jan. 21: Welcoming a Mindful Future, with Taos area educator Anne-Marie Emanuelli;
  • Feb. 4: Their Heart Is To Serve; Compassionate Conversations about Public Health

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Century Bank Joins Fun Of Backcountry Film Festival

Century Bank’s Tim Branch hands a Backcountry Film Festival sponsorship to PEEC Executive Director Katie Bruell. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

Century Bank is again sponsoring the Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s (PEEC) showing of the Backcountry Film Festival from the Winter Wildlands Alliance.

The screening is 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, with the streaming link live for 72 hours for ticket-holders.

And exciting news just in! Thanks to Century Bank, ticket holders will receive one free drink from the Pajarito Brewpub and Grill plus a discount code for 15 percent off their food and drink

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Los Alamos School Board Elects Melanie Colgan President

LAPS News:

Melanie Colgan was chosen as the new president of the Los Alamos School Board at the Jan.12 Regular School Board Meeting.

Outgoing President Ellen Ben-Naim passed the virtual gavel to Colgan during the meeting.

Ben-Naim was elected vice-president. Dawn Jalbert will retain her position as board secretary.

Screen shot/

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Los Alamos Head Golf Professional Michael Phillips Garners 2021 Top 50 Kids Coach Award For Third Straight Year

Head Golf Professional Michael Phillips demonstrates the proper putting grip to Matthew Slowik, left, and Gabe Mamula during a lesson last July on the practice putting green at Los Alamos County Golf Course. 2021 marks Phillips’ third year in a row winning the Top 50 Kids Coach Award. Photo by John McHale/


Los Alamos Community Services Department congratulates Head Golf Professional Michael Phillips for once again being named as a Masters Kid Coach – 2021 marks the third year in a row that he has won the Top 50 Kids Coach Award.

“I have been fortunate to work with Michael

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Fatal Attraction: Bats With White-Nose Syndrome Prefer Suboptimal Habitats Despite Consequences

Bats with white-nose syndrome roosting in the warmest sites have been hit particularly hard, according to a new study by researchers at Virginia Tech. Courtesy/Virginia Tech

A research team uses a swab to measure the fungal loads on each individual bat and a laser thermometer to measure the roosting temperature of the rocks next to each bat. Courtesy//Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech

Since 2006, a fungal disease called white-nose syndrome has caused sharp declines in bat populations across the eastern United States.

The fungus that causes the disease, Pseudogymnoascus destructans,

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Los Alamos High School Senior Named Top Scholar

Karin Ebey

LAPS News:

Karin Ebey, a senior at Los Alamos High School, has been named one of the top 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2021, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

“I am really excited to be named one of the top 300 finalists,” Ebey said.

Her project title is Climate Change on Crocodilians: Modeling the Effects of Variations in Rainfall on Crocodilians and Their Ecosystems. On Jan. 21, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists and compete for more than $1.8 million in awards

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Report Reveals New Mexico Lottery And Opportunity Scholarships Could Support Thousands More Students

A recent report reveals that 15,770 students received tuition and fee assistance since 2019. Courtesy/NMHED


SANTA FE – A report published by the New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) on the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship and preliminary data for the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship reveal that 15,770 students received tuition and fee assistance via these state-funded programs since Fall 2019. 

“The demonstrated success of the Lottery Scholarship shows that state aid programs are effective in helping students attain a postsecondary degree,” Acting Higher Education

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Santa Fe Community College, Kids Campus And Higher Education Center To Close For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

SFCC News:

Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) and the Santa Fe Higher Education Center will observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Jan. 18, 2021.

No classes will be held, and no student services will be available. SFCC’s child development center, Kids Campus will be closed.

All SFCC and HEC buildings are closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions. Online services will resume and Spring 2021 classes will begin Tuesday, January 19. Kids Campus re-opens Jan. 19 and is limited to those who have pre-registered and are following strict protocols.

Spring 2021 registration is encouraged before

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LAPS Mourns Loss Of Student; Provides Grief Support

From Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus
Los Alamos Public Schools

In times of grief and loss, our school family comes together to support one another.

With that in mind, on Monday, Jan. 11, and Tuesday, Jan. 12, a virtual grief support room will be available to students from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Clinical staff and school counselors will be able to assist students in processing the news of Josh Miko’s death (LAHS student died in a tragic camping accident over the weekend) throughout both days, using breakout rooms for small groups of students to gather and share. 

A separate virtual support session will

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Environmental Public Health Group Became Program Of New Mexico Voices For Children Jan. 1

New Mexico Voices for Children staff members in Albuquerque. Courtesy/NMVFC


ALBUQUERQUE — The New Mexico Environmental Public Health Network (NMEPHN) became a program of New Mexico Voices for Children (NMVFC) Jan. 1, 2021.

The NMEPHN, which was formed in 2018, is committed to advocating for environmental policies that positively impact public health. Its Advisory Board is comprised of medical, environmental and public health professionals from throughout the state, including retired pediatrician Lance Chilton, MD, Anna Rondon of the New Mexico Social Justice Equity Institute

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LANL Foundation Awards 22 Career-Bound Students With Spring 2021 Career Pathways Scholarships

LANL Foundation News:

SANTA FE — LANL Foundation announces the recipients of its Spring 2021 Career Pathways Scholarship, awarded to those in pursuit of a two-year degree, trade or certificate.

The 22 recent Career Pathways awardees from Northern New Mexico intend to pursue degrees and certifications in high-demand fields, including Nursing, Information Technology, Radiation Technology, Welding, Computer Science and Business Administration.

These scholars are highly motivated to gain the skills and credentials needed to enter the workforce in their career of choice, with the primary

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