On his way out of town Wednesday to begin his new job leading the Farmington Municipal School District, former LAPS Superintendent Gene Schmidt stopped by the Los Alamos Daily Post newspaper office to say goodbye to the staff. Schmidt, here with Bonnie Gordon who covers education for the paper, said he intends to stay in touch with the Los Alamos community through occasional columns published in the LA Daily Post. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
As former Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Gene Schmidt moves on to Farmington Municipal School District, he leaves behind yet another accolade attributed to the district and some kind, parting words for school staff and the community.
Los Alamos High School was rated number three for the State of New Mexico, receiving a gold medal rating by a 2014 US News and World Report ranking behind the Albuquerque Institute of Math and Science and South Valley Academy. The full scope of the article is available on-line.
“The fact that our students consistently perform at a high level speaks volumes about their willingness to challenge and be successful in rigorous coursework that prepares them for college or the world of work,” Schmidt said. “Maintaining our ‘Gold Medal,’ status is just one of many markers of our school system’s success. The numerous individual and group accolades achieved in academics, art, athletics, drama, science, robotics, history day and other programs validate the high quality of our instructional program.”
Schmidt sees family and community involvement in education and a stellar, committed staff as steps on the path to help ensure success from elementary to high school.
He also credits the hard work of AP or Advanced Placement teachers like LAHS’s Judy Nekimken in helping students make the grade.
Nekimken who believes that attitude is everything loves math almost as much as she loves her students.
“I love being a teacher because when I help students turn on the math light bulb it’s very rewarding,” Nekimken said. “I want to instill the trait of determination, discipline and satisfaction of completing a job at a high level in all my students.”
Schmidt values each step in the educational process, equating each year to another building block along the way. He also gives much credit to students who appear to value education and will understand that the doors will be opened to them.
“In the process, they are not afraid to work hard and to hold high expectations for themselves,” Schmidt said. “Every time you look at that gold medal, I see the face of a student, school staff and parent working in partnership for a better tomorrow.”
View US News and World Report rankings here.