Los Alamos High School Principal Sandra Warnock announced her intent to retire at the end of the 2013-14 school year. Warnock made the announcement during a meeting with her staff Wednesday afternoon.
Shortly after the meeting, School Board President Jim Hall stated, “I am grateful for Ms. Warnock’s long service to the district. I will personally miss working with her.”
Warnock is completing an exemplary 30-year career with Los Alamos Public Schools that began in 1984 as a Special Education teacher at the high school. She served in this capacity for 22 years before accepting a position as an assistant principal at the high school. Warnock served as high school principal for the past four and one-half years.
Math Department Chair Sherry Anderson said, “I think that Sandy has been a great principal. She has always tried to do what is best for the students and staff while being fair to everyone.”
As LAHS principal since 2010, Warnock leaves a substantial legacy as an educational leader. She championed the implementation of Saturday School, an expanded dual credit program, and an expanded Advanced Placement program, which recently garnered the high school national recognition as a member of the AP Honor Roll (the first New Mexico high school to receive this honor.) Under her leadership, the high school received two “A” grades in the new school report card evaluation format. In addition, LAHS was named on several prominent national high school listings such as U.S. News and World Reports, Newsweek and The Washington Post.
“We are really going to miss Sandy. She is a tremendous principal. She really cares for students and staff,” LAHS English teacher Margo Batha said.
Superintendent Dr. Eugene Schmidt thanked Warnock for her service to the students and staff stating, “She has been an exceptional school principal in her educational leadership, her academic vision for the future and her ability to lead the school through the construction of the new building. As a community, we are thankful for her commitment to the future of our youth.”
Kathy Boerigter, LAHS science teacher commented, “I have found Sandy to be very professional, incredibly supportive of staff, and approachable. She has guided me to being a better teacher. She has a great sense of humor and I have the greatest respect for her.”
Additionally, Warnock led the high school students and staff through the arduous process of constructing a new high school. She will continue to be a member of the Los Alamos community and plans on exploring other professional opportunities within the community.
LAPS Board Vice President Judy Bjarke-McKenzie said, “Ms. Warnock has done a wonderful job running our high school and getting our students where they need to be.”
Municipal Judge Alan Kirk said, “I had the opportunity to work with Ms. Warnock when she was vice-principal and principal. She really focused on eliminating truancy, growing the credit recovery program, and creating a Saturday School. All these programs, in partnership with the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, helped to improve the graduation rate. She will be missed tremendously.”
Los Alamos Public Schools will conduct a national search for a new principal. The school system will be involving students, parents and staff in this important hiring process, Schmidt said.