Superintendent’s Back-To-School Message To Students

Los Alamos Superintendent of Schools

School starts on Thursday Aug. 13 — YEAH! 

As you walk into the building on your first day of school, here are three things to remember:

  • First, everyone in the building is filled with mixed emotions – excitement, uneasiness, happiness about seeing friends, and maybe even a little fear about what lies ahead. You are not alone.  When in doubt, ask. If you feel sad, talk to someone. Every adult in your school is there to listen, help, and point you in the right direction.
  • Second, grit trumps everything else! Staying focused on

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Los Alamos High School Incoming Senior Awarded New Mexico Leadership Institute Scholarship

Jonathan Salazar

LAPS News:

Jonathan Salazar, a senior at Los Alamos High School, has been selected as one of 30 New Mexico Leadership Institute Scholars to participate in a statewide leadership initiative. 

The New Mexico Leadership Institute was created to provide high school student leaders from across New Mexico with the financial resources, global awareness, leadership training, and professional networks required to succeed in a competitive and knowledge-based economy.

This one-year program began with a Summer Academy held on the campus of New Mexico State University in

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LAHS Class Of ‘65 Announces 50th Reunion Plans

LAHS News:

Graduates from the Los Alamos High School Class of ’65 will be gathering in Los Alamos on Homecoming Weekend, Sept. 11-13.

Their 50th reunion kicks off with a mixer at Fuller Lodge on Friday night, followed by attendance in group seating at the Toppers’ football game. Saturday offers free time for a golf event, visits to Bandelier or favorite sites, and the possibility of getting reacquainted with the surroundings through Buffalo Tours.

The final event on Sunday will be a cookout at the home of classmate Roger Waterman and his wife, Emily McGay.

Registration forms have been sent out,

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Governor Promotes Back To School Tax-Free Weekend

SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez encourages New Mexico families to take advantage of the annual tax-free weekend through Sunday, which will save them money and prepare their children with clothes and supplies to return to school this fall. 

“This is a great opportunity for families to do back-to-school shopping and save some of their hard-earned money,” Martinez said. “The tax-free weekend is a win-win for both families and businesses. And most importantly, it helps our kids get back to school with more of the supplies they need to be prepared and ready to

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First Tyler Van Anne Memorial Scholarships Awarded

Sophan Kellog, winner of the Tyler Van Anne Scholarship with the five young men awarded honorary scholarships. Photo by Don Taylor Photography

LAPS Foundation News:

Dianne Dandiver and Lee Bussolini helped the family of Tyler Van Anne set a scholarship through the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation. 

A beloved son and brother, Tyler is remembered through a scholarship awarded to a graduation senior at Los Alamos High School, “who demonstrates positive character traits; involvement in community; and being a successful role model in demonstrating love, understanding, and compassion

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School Board Has Full Agenda For Aug. 8 Meeting

LAPS News:

The Los Alamos School Board will hold a Regular School Board Meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 11 at the Administration Building School Board Room, 2101 Trinity Drive.

The agenda includes:

  • Recognition by the Board of Kate Kettering, Los Alamos High School Nurse awarded the Excellence in Nursing Practice Merit Award presented July 15 by the NM School Nurse Association
  • Aspen Easement Report
  • Modrall Law Firm and RBC Updated Finance Plan – presented by Lisa Montoya and Modrall Law Firm  
  • Reach Toward Not Away – presented by Rachel Reynolds
  • Student Liaison to the School Board – presented

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Class Of ’95 Tours Los Alamos High School

The Class of 1995 and their families tour Los Alamos High School, thanks to the LAHS Foundation. Courtesy photo


Members of the Los Alamos Class of 1995 received a tour of the high school courtesy of their former principal, Cheryl Pongratz. 

The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation provides a complimentary tour of the high school to class reunion groups each summer.

Last Saturday several foundation board members led by Pongratz, took a group from the Class of ‘95 and their family members on a tour of the school. Other Foundation board members helping to facilitate the

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NOT Back-to-School Breakfast Aug. 13

LAPS News:
For 43 years, retired Los Alamos Public Schools employees have gathered at the NOT back to school breakfast on the first day of Back to School for students and teachers.
The event was founded by retired teacher Bill Hudson. It is the event all retired educators eagerly look forward to each August. Retirees from all over the USA make a special effort to attend the event to share memories and talk with friends and visit after their no agenda, no dues, no obligation meeting.
This year the breakfast is 9:30 a.m. to noon, Thursday Aug. 13, in Kelly Hall at Trinity on

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Chalupa Dinner Benefits Boys And Girls State Programs


The American Legion Post 90 in Los Alamos is hosting a Chalupa Dinner at 5:30 p.m., Friday at 1325 Trinity Dr.

Proceeds from the dinner help support the Legion’s Boys State and Girls State programs in which students become part of the operation of local, county and state government.

Boys State was founded in 1935 to counter the socialism-inspired Young Pioneer Camps. At Boys State, participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of franchised citizens. The training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county and state governments.

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Los Alamos Historical Society Presents ‘New Mexico in World War II’ By State Historian Dr. Rick Hendricks

New Mexico State Historian Dr. Rick Hendricks. Courtesy photo


  • Los Alamos Historical Society Unveils 2015-2016 lecture series, “70 Years Since World War II” 

New Mexico State Historian Rick Hendricks will speak on New Mexico in World War II, during the first lecture in the series at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 11, at Fuller Lodge.

The talk will explore the role of New Mexicans in the armed services during the conflict and will look at life on the home front during the war years. Some of the significant developments in New Mexico that occurred as a result of the war also

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Art On Tap At UnQuarked Wine Room Thursday

Pottery will be displayed Thursday at Art On Tap at UnQuarked in Central Park Square. Courtesy photo


Art On Tap is 5:30 p.m. Thursday at UnQuarked Wine Room at 145 Central Park Square in downtown Los Alamos.

In conjunction with the Celebration of Clay Exhibit arriving shortly at the Fuller Lodge Art Center, the topic is Pueblo pottery. Northern New Mexico is known for the distinctive pottery handmade by Pueblo artists. Led by Chris Judson, pieces from several local Pueblos will be displayed and there will be a discussion about the traditional ways used to make and decorate them.

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County Begins Testing School Zone Flashing Lights


Technicians from the Los Alamos County Traffic and Streets Division will test school zone flashers across the community the two days immediately prior to the new school year, which starts Aug. 13.

The flashing beacons will activate at school zones Tuesday, Aug. 11 and Wednesday, Aug. 12, according to their programed schedules, which are based on each school’s normal schedule.

Direct questions or concerns to the Traffic and Streets Division at 505.662.8113 or send an email to

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Rotary Presents Inbound And Outbound Students

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos is excited to have such a vibrant youth program this year including from left, Kayleen Lederman, outbound to Belgium; Krissi Wallis, inbound from Germany; and Faith Koh, returning from a year abroad in France. Not pictured are Nick Criscuolo who is now in Netherlands and Leslie Thalmann, who also just returned from a year abroad in Belgium. For more information on hosting or being an exchange student, contact Lisa Harris or Rob Metcalf at Photo by Carol A. Clark/

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AFTNM President Responds To Changes In New Mexico Teacher Evaluations

AFTNM President Stephanie Ly


  • ALBUQUERQUE – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico (AFTNM) President Stephanie Ly released the following statement regarding changes to NM teacher evaluations saying it represents minimal effort from the Public Education Department to remedy the flawed system:

“Word of changes to the teacher evaluation system in New Mexico under Secretary Skandera and Governor Martinez should be welcome news, however, these recently announced changes represent only a superficial effort which leaves a vast majority of veteran educators still persecuted

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Meet Los Alamos Public Schools’ Newest Teachers

Los Alamos High School teachers from left, James Hatt, Shanna Mayorov, David Daniel, Holly Philips, Lisa Tuck, Melissa Laeser and Timothy Graziani. Photo by Chris Clark/
Los Alamos Middle School teachers from left, Craig Washnok, Suzuko Grow, Angela Helm, Lindsey Montoya and Steven Montoya. Photo by Chris Clark/
Aspen Elementary School teacher Jennifer Washnok. Photo by Chris Clark/
Barranca Elementary School teachers from left, Annette G. Sehorn, Kayoko Nettleton, Seraph Cortez and Erin

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Back to School Information For Students And Parents

LAPS News:

Los Alamos Public Schools today announces its new Back to School web page. Think of it as a concierge service for all of your back to school needs, including information about academics and activities. 

Whether new to the LAPS district or returning to continue your academic career, this web page is packed with useful information.

In our My School section, there are links to each school’s home page, contact information, maps, and school supplies lists. You will also be able to easily find information about student registration, PowerSchool tools for parents and students,

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SlingShot Documentary Premiere & Discussion Aug. 7-13

The inspiring documentary film SlingShot will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Friday Aug. 7, at the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Santa Fe.
SlingShot features Dean Kamen, quirky iconclast and inventor, who has been called the Thomas Edison of our time. This film follows Kamen, who created several innovative products and medical devices that help people in need and ease suffering, in his newest endeavor to solve the world’s clean water crisis with a purification device called SlingShot.
This moving story is sure to engage

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Laser Light Shows At Los Alamos Nature Center

Laser Pink Floyd: The Best of Echoes is one of 12 shows at the Nature Center. Courtesy image

PEEC News:

PEEC is hosting 30 laser light shows in the new planetarium in August..

Aug. 7 through Aug. 15 there will be at least two laser light shows per day. Attendees will have the opportuity to experience a feast for the senses in these dazzling and captivating laser light programs.

With 11 unique shows playing during the week, there is truly something for everyone. Classic music fans will love to see how laser light transforms their favorite bands, with separate shows dedicated to the music of Led Zeppelin,

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Seventeen New Mexico Women Of STEM Honored

New Mexico Women of STEM honorees from left, Diana E. Northup, Ph. D., UNM; Cristina Montoya, M.S., Sandia; Mia Kalish, Ph.D., NMSU; Nina Lanza, Ph.D., LANL; Phyllis Baca, M.S., SFCC; Rebecca Galves, M.S., NMSU; Turtle Haste, M.S., APS; Teri Roberts, B.S.; LANL; Mary Jemin, B.S., Expanding Your Horizons Conferences; Jill Wick, M.S., NMDGF; Lorie Liebrock, Ph.D., NM Tech; Jeri Timlin, Ph.D., Sandia; Janeen Anderson, B.S., Acaji; and Heather Yazzie-Kinlacheeny, B.A., Navajo Technical University. Also honored, but not in attendance, Patty Lopez, Ph.D., Intel; Diane Oyen, Ph.D., LANL;

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