Skandera congratulates LAHS

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By Tris DeRoma

The best of Los Alamos High School was on full display Wednesday as Education Secretary designate Hanna Skandera came to town.

She was here to congratulate Los Alamos High School for getting an “A” during a recent evaluation by the state.

Accompanied by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gene Schmidt, she received a warm welcome as soon as she entered the school’s lobby, greeted by the high school’s principal, Sandra Warnock.

As members of the high school orchestra played classical music in an alcove above the lobby, Skandera got to meet the school’s award-winning “Team Y” robotics team as well as their latest creation, a basketball-shooting robot.

She also sampled some of the appetizers and desserts the schools culinary arts students made.

She also gave a speech at the event, a speech that centered on the high school’s achievements.

“Job well done, not only to your leadership, but to every teacher, parent and community member that has made this a school of excellence,” she said. “Thank you for letting me be a part of your hard work, your commitment to your students, and for letting me celebrate your success with you.”

She was also presented a plaque from the school by student body president Soumyo Lahiri-Gupta and vice president Justin Dunn in recognition of her visit. A message on the plaque thanked her for her leadership and improving the quality of education in New Mexico.

School board president Jim Hall also echoed Skandera’s acknowledgment of the community-at-large helping in the high school’s achievement.

“Several years ago, this community voted to raise its property taxes by 33 percent in order to build new schools and facilities that our students deserve,” he said. “We couldn’t be where we are without that community support.”

Her time in Los Alamos included a tour of the newly-built Los Alamos Middle School as well, a tour she took with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gene Schmidt as well as LAMS Principal Rex Kilburn and Assistant Principal Anna Vargas Gutierrez.

“She seemed to be really impressed with the beauty of it, and she also acknowledged and approved of the team design and layout of the building,” Kilburn said.

Skandera later had a speaking engagement at a dinner sponsored by the Los Alamos Republican party.