Los Alamos Schools Receive Title III Incentive Award from 2014 Legislature

Lanie Mueller, Barranca Elementary ELL teacher, focuses on individual student needs. During the course of her day, she works with students who speak Spanish, Russian, Japanese or Korean. Courtesy photo

By GENE SCHMIDT, Superintendent
Los Alamos Public Schools

Congratulations to Aspen, Barranca and Mountain elementary schools on being honored as exemplary schools by the New Mexico Public Education Department. The three schools will receive their awards Jan. 30 at the Bilingual Day at the State Legislature.               

The recognition celebrates the success of exemplary schools serving the needs of English Language Learners. The award is called the Title III Incentive Award from the 2014 Legislature!  The honored schools were selected based on three student performance criteria including “Making Progress” in English Language Proficiency, “Attaining Proficiency” in English language, and making School Growth Progress.”

Dr. Sandra Rodriquez, Education Administrator NMPED stated, “Los Alamos was the only school district in the state that met all three factors. It was something to be very proud of.” She also noted “Los Alamos invested time and energy in tutoring students, which was an important component directly affecting student learning.”

Los Alamos’ international draw brings students from all over the world. A small sampling of many languages spoken in Los Alamos schools includes Spanish, Korean, Russian and Tagalog.

School Board President Jim Hall congratulated school staff stating, “This recognition speaks well of the high quality instructional programs that prepare our English language learners to be successful. The success of our teachers in this endeavor is admirable. Our success is also a testimony to the school community partnership that places high value in developing the English language skills of our children.”

Jim Ivanovich, Mountain Principal commented, “This award reflects our school’s diversity. It is also a positive reflection of a very caring staff who works tirelessly every day to help students succeed.”

Kathryn Vandenkieboom, Aspen Principal stated, “The Aspen Elementary School family has many different cultures and languages. I admire the teaching in ELL and the focus that all teachers place on teaching the English language.” She added that “Aspen has a culturally and linguistically rich student population, which helps students have a deeper understanding of their peers as well as make connections with the rest of the world.” 

Brad Parker, Barranca Principal stated, “I am very proud of the teamwork our staff exhibits to meet the unique needs of our students. Staff and community pull together to support students whatever their English Language Learner needs.”

The three principals and their English Language Learning teachers have been invited to the State Capital Round House Jan. 30 to accept the awards on behalf of their schools.