Rotary Club Student of the Month: Lauren TenCate

Lauren TenCate, center, with her mother Deb Summa, left, and LAHS math teacher Sally Shockey, whom she selected as the teacher who has had the most positive influence in her life, listen as Rotary Past President Linda Hull shares TenCate’s accomplishents during Tuesday’s Rotary Club meeting. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Staff Report

Lauren TenCate, a senior at Los Alamos High School (LAHS), was recently honored as Rotary Student of the Month. TenCate is the daughter of Deb Summa and Jim TenCate and sister of Emily TenCate.

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos selects one student each month of the school year to honor as a Student of the Month. This year’s recipients reflect a combination of both LAHS seniors and juniors; next year, only juniors will be recognized in hopes of inspiring their interest in Rotary programs that fall during the summer following junior year. Students are nominated by their teachers and chosen on the basis of their academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, and, in particular, their service to the community.

Community service has been an important part of TenCate’s high school years. With particular interests in science and technology, TenCate serves on the Youth Leadership Team for Café Scientifique, a program for high school students interested in current news related to science. She is also a member of the LAHS NJROTC Cadet Corps and has been awarded ribbons for service to her unit and to the community, as well as for academic success and physical fitness.

TenCate was also one of the first members of the FIRST Robotics Team 4153 and now serves as one of three co-captains. Formed just three years ago at LAHS with a UNM-Los Alamos partnership, the team has met with great success in regional competition. As part of the team’s outreach, TenCate and other members have given robotics demonstrations at the Bradbury Science Museum, for Girl Scout Technology Day, and to Piñon Elementary’s 4th grade GATE class. She also helped the team teach Lego robotics classes during a summer program at UNM-Los Alamos.

TenCate has also participated the last two summers in Denver with Catholic Heart Work Camp, a program that gives students service opportunities to restore homes; feed the hungry; lift the spirits of children, the elderly and disabled; and offer assistance while partnering with social agencies.

TenCate is an excellent student, maintaining more than a 4.0 grade-point average, and is a member of the National Honor Society. She is a National Merit semi-finalist, an AP Scholar of Distinction, and a Gold Medalist in National German Exams, Level 3.

When she isn’t studying or taking a welding class to craft robotics machinery, TenCate can be found at the aquatic center. She has been a competitive swimmer with the Pajarito Aquatic Club since second grade and especially enjoys freestyle sprints and open water events.

In addition to her mother, TenCate was joined at the awards ceremony by LAHS math teacher Sally Shockey, whom TenCate selected as the teacher who has had the most positive influence in her life.

As a part of Rotary International, the oldest service organization in the world with more than 1.2 million members, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos gratefully acknowledges the contributions Students of the Month and their families make to our community, a principle reflected in the organization’s motto, Service Above Self.