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Of the many characteristics that I have come to know and admire about Los Alamos, the pursuit of excellence is one. It seems since the first student stepped into a “Secret City” classroom, the importance and quality of education has been on the minds of our citizenry.
Over the decades, there were many signs that point to the importance that education played. For example, the new high school in the early 1950s was hailed as “a state of the art facility.” Similarly, educators from the 1970s celebrated the high school’s selection as a Bellamy Award winner for excellence in community relations, education, citizenship and civic concern.
High quality education in Los Alamos has always come in many forms, including music, art, drama, and building trades to name just a few. This holistic view originated with Superintendent Robert Wegner in the 1940s, who introduced “specials” teachers as part of the school district’s educational program to produce well-rounded graduates.
Superintendent Duane Smith, in the 1970s, cemented these specials into our educational traditions to ensure that schools were here for all kinds of students. It was as if he felt there wasn’t a mold that one had to fit in order to be successful.
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