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Smale earns Student of the Month

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By Special to the Monitor

Kendra Smale was recently honored as Rotary Student of the Month for May.

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos selects a graduating senior from  Los Alamos High School to honor each month. Students are selected on the basis of academic success, extracurricular involvement and service to the community.  

Along with her parents, Kevin and Rachel Smale, she chose Susan Baker-Dillingham, her dance teacher of eight years and founding director of New Mexico Dance Theater (NMDT), to join her in accepting this honor.

Smale said, “Ms. Baker-Dillingham’s professional demeanor and outstanding artistic capabilities have inspired me to continue dancing as a possible career choice. I observe a unique determination, talent and passion in Baker-Dillingham as well as NMDT’s faculty, students and company members, all traits that are absorbed and reflected in many aspects of my own life.” Smale has been a dancer for 14 years, including the last five at New Mexico Dance Theater. She has enjoyed performing  lead roles such as “Snow White,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Queen of Hearts.” She was also personally invited to a prestigious dance program at Ballet Chicago where she has spent much of her last two summers in rigorous classical ballet training. She was also active in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish. She served a Youth Leader for the LifeTeen youth group and a teachers’ aide for Vacation Bible School. She also expanded her service to other areas of the country when she participated in a Catholic Workcamp in Prescott, Ariz., during the summer of 2009.  She and other IHM teens stayed in the area for one week and spent time cleaning and refurbishing homes. Smale said these opportunities  helped her to grow in her faith, help ed others understand their faith and served those in need.

Smale was treasurer for United Way Youth Team, which conducts benefit dinners for local organizations. She is also a member of the  National Honor Society as well as  a Youth Leader for Café Scientifique, a member of the La Loma yearbook staff and a senior buddy for Senior Sidekicks Club.

Smale is currently taking four Advanced Placement courses during her senior year. During her sophomore year, she received a Certificate of Merit and a silver medal for excellent achievement on the National German High School Examination and achieved the highest score in New Mexico. Smale is a National Merit Finalist and was an honored graduating senior at the Phi Beta Kappa banquet this month.

Her plans after high school include attending Texas A&M University in College Station and majoring in both mathematics and dance kinesiology. She will participate in A&M’s Honors Program and is  exploring their Pre-Medicine Programs. Smale has interned for more than a year at the local offices of Lorraine Hartway, CPA, LLC. She works as a receptionist and learns about tax preparation and bookkeeping. She plans to continue this employment through the summer.