New LAHS principal hired

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Education > District chooses nationally recognized candidate

By Tris DeRoma

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gene Schmidt announced Tuesday that Dr. Deborah Belew-Nyquist will be the next principal of Los Alamos High School.
“...During my one-on-one interview, I perceived a strong research-based educator who brings a student-focused to learning,” said Schmidt in a press release. “It is my belief that as the next Hilltopper administrator, Dr. Belew-Nyquist will continue to build on the educational excellence of the school and serve effectively with vision, compassion and professionalism.”
As of last week, the candidates came down to Belew-Nyquist, who is from the state of Washington and Michael Johnson, the high school’s assistant principal.
During an interview session that included school officials, the general public and high school students, many were impressed with Belew-Nyquist’s vision of what public education should be about.
“The question is ‘what’s my vision.’ Well, when I’m working in schools, it’s not what my vision is, it’s what our vision is,” she said last week. “I truly believe that educating our children is a shared responsibility of parents, staff, students and the community.”
Belew-Nyquist recently received national recognition for a program she developed while she was an assistant principal at Central Kitsap High School.
The program dealt with bullying, peer pressure and other student issues. She was also nationally recognized for expanding the advanced placement, honors and “distinguished scholars” programs.
“I am excited to join Los Alamos Public Schools and look forward to working together to continue the strong tradition of excellence,” Belew-Nyquist said in a written statement.
On April 14, Belew-Nyquist will visit with parents and the community at the school, and later that week, she will meet with staff and students. No exact times have been announced yet.
Belew-Nyquist will be replacing Sandra Warnock, who announced her retirement earlier this year.
“I’m very excited,” she told the Los Alamos Monitor Tuesday morning. “I was so impressed when I was there. The parents, the staff, the community were so welcoming. Clearly, they want what’s best for their kids as all of us do. I’m very honored to have been selected.”