Students Register to Vote at LAHS

Robert Van Lysell celebrated his 18th birthday Thursday by registering to vote with assistance from the Los Alamos League of Women Voters. The League was helping students at Los Alamos High School register in time to vote in next month’s school bond election. Eligible voters include those who will be 18 on or before Jan 29, 2013. Any other student at LAHS who would like to register can go to the office and request that someone come to the school or s/he can go to the County Clerk’s Office (portable suite D)  in the parking lot by the Justice Center to register. Courtesy photo Read More

Rachel Peck Guides Olions to Great Start

Anastasia (Haley Henson) and policewoman (Rebecca Varjebedian) discuss the baby in “Nothing Is What It Seems” written and directed by senior Alexandria L’Esperance. Courtesy/Olions

Review by Maire O’Neill

The Los Alamos High School Olions presented this year’s student-directed one act plays in the new Topper Theater Dec. 6-9.

As always, this year’s plays, which ranged from heart-breaking to mind-twisting to bully-breaking, showcased the multiple talents of the Olions.

“Nothing Is What It Seems” written and directed by Alexandria Read More

Los Alamos Honored For Building Award Winning High School

Los Alamos High School Principal Sandy Warnock with architects Sanjay Engineer, lead architect on the LAHS design project and Art Tatum of Fanning, Bard, Tatum Architects. Courtesy/LAPS

LAPS News:

It is now official. What the local community has known for the past year was validated with state awards that honored Los Alamos High School for its design and quality construction.

Simply stated, Los Alamos builds award winning schools.

The New Mexico Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors selected LAHS as its 2012 “Excellence in Construction Award” winner this past October. The National Read More

Letter to the Editor: Vote Yes on Special Mail-In Ballot General Obligation Bond Jan. 29, 2013

By Los Alamos Public School District


What: School Bond Vote

When: Jan. 29, 2013

How: Mail-In Ballot

Why: Important For Our Future!

On Jan. 29, 2013, the voters of Los Alamos County will have the opportunity to build a brighter future for students with their vote on an all-mailed ballot for a $20 million construction bond that will not raise the tax rate. The upcoming bond will fund the replacement of the academic wing of Aspen Elementary School.

The bond will also fund a variety of infrastructure costs such as new sewer and water lines for several schools. The bond will fund other much Read More

Letter to the Editor: LAPS Bond Won’t Increase Property Taxes

Former school board member Ken Johnson points to dry rot at Aspen Elementary School. Courtesy photo
By Morrie Pongratz
Former School Board Member
Former County Councilor

In January we have an opportunity to make Los Alamos more inviting to the young families who are essential to the future of LANL (and Los Alamos.)

On May 10, 2007, I attended the first meeting of the Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) Facility Planning Committee (FPC.) The school board had asked me, Larry Goen, Al Moelenback, Stan Primak and Grant Stewart to serve with two board members and LAPS staff with the goal of developing Read More

Hilltopper Alumni Society Holiday Social is Dec. 12

 LAPSF News:

The Hilltopper Alumni Society’s first ever holiday social will be held from 4-7 p.m. Dec. 12 at Dixie Girl, 1789 Central Ave.

This is an opportunity for graduates of Los Alamos High School to mix and mingle. There will be a brief introduction to the Alumni Society’s first project; converting the senior photos that once hung in the halls of Los Alamos High School to digital files.

All Hilltopper Alumni are welcome to attend and enjoy complimentary appetizers with drinks available for purchase.

This event is sponsored by Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation. Courtesy/LAPSF Read More

Los Alamos Student Slated for National Math Contest

Alex Wang. Courtesy photo

LAHS News:

PROVIDENCE, RI – Alex Wang, a sophomore at Los Alamos High School, is one of 10 students nationwide selected to compete for $10,000 in the 2013 national “Who Wants to Be a Mathematician” 9:30-11 a.m. (Pacific) Jan. 10 in the San Diego Convention Center.

The competition will be broadcast live:

Fast Facts about Wang: He is one of two sophomores to qualify for the 2013 national “Who Wants to Be a Mathematician.” In addition to being good in math, Wang loves to debate. He plans to use his winnings Read More

Column: Building Better Schools … Building Brighter Futures

By Dr. Gene Schmidt, superintendent
Los Alamos Public Schools                   

On Jan. 29, 2013, the voters of Los Alamos County will have the opportunity to build a brighter future for students with their vote on an all-mailed ballot for a $20 million construction bond that would not raise the tax rate.

The upcoming bond will fund the replacement of the academic wing of Aspen Elementary School.

The bond will also fund a variety of infrastructure costs such as new sewer and water lines Read More

Topper Band to Perform at Disneyland

Los Alamos High School Marching Band. Courtesy/LAHS

By Maire O’Neill

The Los Alamos High School Topper Band has been selected to perform at Disneyland in a coveted spot in the “Mainstreet USA” parade on Sunday, April 7, 2013, Director of Bands Zane Meek said.

Bands are selected by audition to perform in the parade. Additionally, the band will be working with Disney musicians and clinicians in a “Soundtrack Session” where they will learn what it is to record a music track for a movie scene.

“What a great honor it is to be chosen for this event,” Meek Read More

New Mexico Awarded $25 Million in Race to Top Funds

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan

DEA News:

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District highlighted today $25 million in “Race to the Top” funds that New Mexico will receive to improve education in the state.

The grant from the Department of Education is part of the “Early Learning Challenge” that focuses on improving early learning and development programs for young children by supporting states’ efforts to:

· increase the number and percentage of low-income and disadvantaged children in each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers Read More

Second Edition of ‘Los Alamos Place Names’ Is Here

Author Craig Martin

Book News:


Trinity Drive. Peggy Sue Bridge. Bathtub Row. The history of Los Alamos is written it the names given to locations around town.

The origins of those names and many more are discussed in the long-awaited second edition of Place Names of Los Alamos by local author Craig Martin.

“The first edition has been out of print since 2002 and I’ve been promising the Los Alamos Historical Society an update since 2005, so it’s about time,” Martin said.

The book chronicles the stories behind about 500 names, and the second edition includes two dozen new places that have acquired Read More

LAHS Staff Receives Royal Feast


By Maire O’Neill

Los Alamos High School staff was treated to a magnificent feast for lunch on Friday catered by members of the Topper Parent Organization (TPO.)

Some 30 parents prepared everything from posole to some delicious, decadent chocolate mousse concoction containing fudge and Heath bars. Several parents were on hand to set up the luncheon and serve the staff.

PTO president Janine Tulenko has been involved in her son Jack’s schools as a parent volunteer since he was in second grade at Aspen Elementary School. This will be the last year on the committee for Tulenko, Read More

LAHS Students Tapped for All State Concert Ensembles

LAHS Marching Band. Courtesy/LAHS

By Maire O’Neill

Seventeen Los Alamos High School band students have been selected for participation or as alternates for the 2013 All State Concert Ensembles.

Some 1,000 entrants from around the state competed to perform at the all-state clinic and conference in Albuquerque Jan. 9-12, 2013.

Students selected were: Aaron Bao, Brandon Cullinan, Daniel Dahl, Eleanor Devlin Daniel Dunning, Sally Grindstaff, Kathy Lestone, Madeline Margevicius, Becky Mehlin, Alice Shao, Louisa Singleton, Breanna Sehorn, Alex Swart, Jamie Tarantello, Justine
Read More

Bandelier Screening ‘Canes of Power’ Dec. 4


This is an 11th-hour announcement, but all Bandelier National Monument employees and the general public are invited to Bandelier National Monument Visitor Center for a screening of “Canes of Power.”

“Canes of Power” is a documentary about the governors’ canes given to the Pueblos by President Abe Lincoln.

Cochiti Pueblo Lt. Gov. Michael Pecos will present the screening at 2 p.m. for those who gather in the Visitor Center Auditorium.

With the recent big screen production on Lincoln, there has

Read More

Con Alma Awards $20K to Espanola Teen Center

Courtesy photo

YMCA News:

Española – Con Alma’s Northern New Mexico Health Grant Group has awarded $20,000 to the Española YMCA Teen Center in support of student achievement and to address risky behaviors.

Los Alamos Family YMCA Executive Director Linda Daly said NNMHGG’s award signifies a commitment to improving health outcomes for youth in northern New Mexico.

“Multi-agency partnering within communities is proving to be one of the most effective means of improving educational outcomes for youth and thus positively affect their health outcomes,” Daly said. “The skill building classes Read More

Was Hurricane Sandy New Storm Breed?

‘Inside the Megastorm’ takes viewers moment by moment through Hurricane Sandy, its impacts and the future of storm protection. Through first person accounts from those who survived, and from experts and scientists, ‘Inside the Megastorm’ gives scientific context to a new breed of storms. Courtesy/PBS

PBS News:

Was Hurricane Sandy a freak combination of weather systems? Or are hurricanes increasing in intensity due to warming climate?

Learn more at this month’s New Mexico PBS Science Café: “Inside the Megastorm.”

This Science Café will be held 10 a.m. Read More

LADOC Teaches Kids Dog Ownership Skills

Kayleen Lederman demonstrates ‘jump’ in agility with her dog Owen. Courtesy/LADOC


This fall Los Alamos Dog Obedience Club (LADOC) has been offering a special class called the paRENT Free Club or “RENT” free club for children.

Local youth were instructed in responsible dog ownership and how to train their dogs in the class especially designed for them.

Parents of youth attending the paRENT Free Club arrived at the end to watch a demonstration of what their child and dog learned each week.

Saturday, Dec. 1, the fall session ended with a demonstration of skills Read More

Nominations Sought for PBS Teacher Innovators

PBS News:

Attention New Mexico teachers – New Mexico PBS, Ch. 5.1 invites you to enter the PBS Teacher Innovator Competition.

Are you an innovative educator? Show us how you inspire your students and you could win a trip to the Henry Ford in Dearborn, Mich. for a weeklong “Innovation Immersion Experience.”

The deadline to enter is Dec. 12.

New Mexico PBS, Ch.5.1 (Albuquerque/Santa Fe), PBS LearningMedia ( and The Henry Ford ( are proud to bring you the third annual PBS Teacher Innovator Awards to recognize innovative PreK-12 classroom educators, Read More

Pontsettia Pick Up Location Changed!

The location has changed for the poinsettia pick-up from the student Europe 2013 fundraiser. Poinsettias can be picked up at First Baptist Church until noon today, Dec. 1, instead of Crossroads Bible Church. Students sold 198 poinsettias and 147 bags of coffee, raising more than $2,000 toward this summer’s European trip. Photo by Lynn Ovaska Read More

Family YMCA Hosts Scholastic Book Fair

A little girl kisses Clifford the Big Red Dog during the Los Alamos Family YMCA’s Scholastic Book Fair Friday. Photo by Diana Martinez/YMCA
Geronimo Stilton and Clifford the Big Red Dog are ready to pose for photos with children who attended Friday’s Scholastic Book Fair hosted by the Los Alamos Family YMCA. Photo by Diana Martinez/YMCA
Read More
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