Top LAPS Stories Of 2016

LAPS News:

Los Alamos Public Schools staff and students have accomplished much this year at each of the schools in the district.

2016 Highlights:

 Kathy Boerigter Receives Presidential Award For Excellence In Mathematics And Science Teaching

Los Alamos High School Science Teacher Kathy Boerigter accepted the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) during a trip to Washington, D.C.

Boerigter, and the other Presidential Awardees, received a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

Boerigter shared how this experience will help her teaching. “It has given me even more of a drive to work with other teachers and to coordinate with teachers from other schools. I thoroughly enjoy working with my students, but the award and the associated talks helped me to remember that I also love collaborating and helping other teachers. Someday I would like to become a STEM coach to work with science/math teachers.”

Kristine Coblentz Named LAPS Healthy Schools Program Director

In the first week of November, Kristine Coblentz joined Los Alamos Public Schools as the Healthy Schools Program Director.

The position was created as a result of the work of LAPS’ Mental Health Task Force and the Schools Board’s Strategic Plan which prioritizes student and staff well-being as one of its eight focus areas.
Coblentz said, “A lot of schools with wellness programs focus on fitness and nutrition, but our primary indicators are in the mental health arena. So we’ll be looking at schools that are also focusing in that area while developing a plan that encompasses physical and emotional health.”

Topper Freshmen Academy Opens

Topper Freshmen Academy Principal, J. Carter Payne launched a new initiative at LAHS, called Random Acts of Recognition (RAR).  He found a fun way to recognize a student who had perfect attendance since January 2016 and also has never been late or tardy to any classes this school year.
Right at the start of class, he surprised all of the students in Whitney Pomeroy’s class with cookies, explaining that they were celebrating the good habits of the student with perfect attendance.

“It’s fun to have a chance to walk into a classroom and highlight something great that kids are doing,” Payne said,

Parents Show Love To Los Alamos Teachers

In November, the District Parent Council hosted a Teacher Appreciation Day Friday at projectY cowork Los Alamos in Central Park Square. The teachers were treated to appetizers, gifts and goody bags.

Avid Program Going Strong At LAMS

Los Alamos Middle School successfully launched the AVID program. AVID is an elective that teaches students how to get ready for high school and college by teaching study and organizational skills. The AVID team attended Summer Institute training in June and consists of: Andy Ainsworth, Eva Abeyta, Sherri Bublitz, Suzanne Montoya, Suzuko Grow, Craig Washnok, and Anna Gurierrez ( School Coordinator). There are currently three AVID elective classes and an enrollment of 50 students.

Chamisa Elementary Recognized As A Common Sense Certified School: Digital Citizenship

Common Sense Education, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of digital media and technology, recognized Beverly Nelson, the teacher-librarian at Chamisa Elementary, for her efforts to certify Chamisa as a Common Sense Certified School: Digital Citizenship.

“We’re honored to be recognized as a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified School,” Nelson siad. “By preparing our students to use technology safely and responsibly, we are providing them unlimited opportunities to maximize and personalize their learning. I would like to become a STEM coach to work with science/math teachers.”

Parents Of Gifted LAMS Students Meet To Support Childrens’ Emotional Needs

Last fall parents with gifted children were gathered in the library of Los Alamos Middle School for a Support for the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) parent group. The SENG Model Parent Group is facilitated by Alison Semanision, GATE instructor at Mountain Elementary and Linda Pike Bennett, MA, GATE Social Studies teacher at the Middle School and a licensed mental health counselor.

LAPS Annual Quality Of Education Survey Reflects High Levels Of Confidence

The 2015-2016 Quality of Education Survey results reflect high levels of confidence in key areas that impact student learning and student well-being.  The top five questions that showed the highest number of positive responses included: “My child’s school holds high expectations for academic achievement,” “My child is safe at school,” “The school offers adequate up to date computers and technology,” “My child’s teacher provides sufficient and appropriate information regarding my child’s academic progress,” and “School personnel encourage me to participate in my child’s education.”

Los Alamos Art Teachers Honored At Conference

Three Los Alamos Public Schools art teachers, were honored Nov. 12 at the New Mexico Art Education Association annual conference.
Mary Grace of Los Alamos High School received the President’s Award of Distinction. Renee Mitsunaga of Chamisa Elementary School received the Elementary Art Educator of the Year award, and Thelma Hahn, retired art teacher from LAPS and former president of the New Mexico Art Education Association, received the Retired Art Educator of the Year award.

NNMC Implements Middle School Stem Academy

From October 2015 through July 2016, Northern New Mexico College Environmental Science, Chemistry and Engineering professor/student teams implemented a STEM Academy for middle school children in the region.

The core idea was to promote STEM education and careers in middle schools with an emphasis on girls.

Funded by a $50,000 grant that Dr. Pedro Martinez was awarded from the LANL Community Relations and Partnerships Office, the project delivered more than 40 hands-on sessions to 91 students (43 girls, 48 boys) in environmental science/chemistry, and engineering/computer programming in Arduino and Scratch.