• UNM-LA names Rooney as interim executive director

    Cynthia Rooney has been appointed to serve as the full-time interim executive director of the UNM-Los Alamos, the University of New Mexico announced on its website Wednesday.
    The announcement came from the office of UNM Provost Chaouki Abdallah.
    “Los Alamos is a campus of vital importance to UNM and will need strong leadership to pursue emerging opportunities for that campus,” Abdallah said. “We believe Dr. Rooney’s unique set of skills, experience, and commitment will enable her to do just that. The UNM-Los Alamos Advisory Board and I are extraordinarily pleased for her willingness to take on this role.”
    Rooney has been UNM-LA’s dean of instruction since July 2013. She previously served the campus as associate dean and as the chair of the Business Department. Her teaching interests and research have primarily been in financial accounting and auditing, with appointments at the College of William and Mary, Xavier University, and the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management.

  • Kettering receives merit award

    The New Mexico School Nurse Association recently presented Los Alamos High School nurse, Kate Kettering, with a Merit Award for Excellence in Nursing at its annual conference.
    Kettering is a licensed professional school nurse and member of the National Association of School Nurses.
    Her belief in “better health, better learning” motivates her to teach each freshman class how to manage severe allergies and asthma while at school, said Los Alamos Public Schools in an announcement about Kettering’s award.
    LAPS gives credit to Kettering and the team of school nurses for ensuring the district is fully compliant with the state of New Mexico immunization requirements.”
    “Kate is an outstanding nurse whose service to our students, staff and the entire LAHS community is exceptional,” LAPS Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus said.
    As a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainer, Kettering trains all LAPS school nurses in caring for students in crisis. She has been invited to train the Rio Arriba County and Santa Fe Public School nurses, as well.
    LAPS said she enjoys working with students and “continues to be a valuable member of the district’s International Science Fair review board, evaluating the potential risks of student research involving humans.”

  • Udall, Heinrich announce TRIO funds

    In a joint statement last week, New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced grants totaling more than $3.3 million to 13 schools of higher education in New Mexico.
    Grants valued between $219,970 and $390,463 were awarded to the schools, which are located all around the state.
    The two closest schools to Los Alamos, the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico College, however, were not among the 13 recipient schools.
    The grants will go to fund the TRIO Student Support Services program, which helps provide additional support for low-income and first-generation college students, as well as students with disabilities, according to the senators’ offices.

  • LAPS hires new administrators

    Los Alamos Public Schools announced two new appointments to its administration, one at Barranca Mesa Elementary School and one at Los Alamos High School.
    Gina Terrazas will be the new principal at Barranca Mesa for the upcoming school year. Renee Dunwoody will be the new assistant principal at the high school.
    Both administrators started at their positions Monday.
    Dunwoody, who is originally from the Chicago area, has been with LAPS in several different functions, including a parent volunteer, instructional assistant and special education teacher.
    She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Purdue University and took part in the New Mexico Highlands University-LAPS partnership to offer advanced employment degrees. She has begun Educational Leadership Program and completed an internship at LAHS.
    Prior to working for LAPS, Dunwoody stayed at home to raise her sons.
    During that time, Dunwoody was active in the Los Alamos Hockey Association and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.
    As for Terrazas, she has been an administrator for the past nine years, serving at the Mesa Vista school district at the elementary and high school levels.
    Terrazas earned a bachelor’s degree in 1998 and a master’s degree, both from Highlands.

  • Kiwanis honors students with scholarships

    When the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos awarded $8,500 in scholarships this year, five students and four universities benefited.
    The successful applicants were extremely varied. No two planned to pursue the same field and their parents came from several different professions.
    Sharon Stover, Los Alamos County clerk and chairwoman of the Kiwanis Scholarship Committee, said the scholarship process starts in February. Students can go to Guidance Counselor Connie Boettee to get a list of all organizations sponsoring scholarships — including Kiwanis.
    “We always get a wonderful group of kids,” Stover said. “I’m always amazed at how much they have accomplished and how positive and caring they are about their school. Every year, they continue to exceed our expectations with all they have done and what they want to accomplish in their college careers. We’re very proud of all of them.”
    Still, Stover wasn’t entirely satisfied this year. She said the selection of just five from among 12 applicants was “hard.” Even though the number of applicants was down somewhat from other years, she said, “We had more candidates than we had dollars for.” And she added, “They were really all qualified.”

  • Schools excited about real estate deal for land

    For the past several years, the Los Alamos Public Schools has kept a wary eye on its declining enrollment levels, wondering if and when the decline was going to stop.
    The decline has been so steady that there has been talk of closing either Piñon Elementary School or Chamisa Elementary in response to the decline, or even expanding one school to accommodate the other’s student population.
    However, thanks to a recent real estate deal between the county and a company known as the A-19-A-1 Site Acquisition Group, LLC, that choice may never have to be made.
    According to county documents concerning the land deal, the name refers to the number assigned to a 70-acre parcel of land next to the White Rock Visitors Center. The land once belonged to the U.S. Department of Energy, but was sold to Los Alamos County in 2002.
    Recently, the county sold it to A-19-A-1 Site Acquisition Group, LLC. According to the county’s requests for proposal, the county was looking for a developer that could develop the site for a mixed use of apartments and shopping areas on the site.

  • Schools sweeten reading challenge

    The Los Alamos School Board and Los Alamos Public Schools have added a little more incentive for students to participate in some summer reading.
    Thanks to a little help from the community, children participating in the “New Mexico True Summer Reading Challenge” will have some extra prizes to look forward to once they reach the July 31 deadline.
    The idea came from a recent Los Alamos school board meeting, where school officials and the board discussed adding some extra prizes for the students who participate.
    As a result of that meeting, as well as conversations with the county, the students can look forward to more than $5,000 worth of extra prizes, thanks to the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation, LANL Foundation and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    The prizes will come in the form of “Chamber Checks,” that winners can use in local businesses.
    For its part, the board also made a motion to contribute up to $1,000 to the fund. The Los Alamos National Laboratory foundation contributed $1,500, LANL itself contributed $1,000, the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation contributed $1,000 and Los Alamos County contributed $1,000.

  • Parker named interim principal at LAHS

    Los Alamos High School has named a new interim principal for the 2015-16 school year.
    Brad Parker will take over for Debbie Belew-Nyquist effective today. Belew-Nyquist isn’t returning to LAHS next year.
    Prior to this new post, Parker has been at Capshaw Middle School in Santa Fe, serving as the principal there, as well as Vista Grande Elementary School in Rio Rancho and Jemez Valley Elementary School. He also served as the athletic director at Jemez Valley.
    He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia and a master’s in educational administration from the University of New Mexico.

  • LAPS names new assistant super

    Los Alamos Public Schools announced that Diane Katzenmeyer-Delgado was named assistant superintendent, replacing recently departed administrator Gerry Washburn.
    Katzenmeyer-Delgado is scheduled to start with LAPS June 11.
    Along with Katzenmeyer-Delgado, LAPS also announced that Keith Rosenbam will rejoin the school district as transportation director.
    It has been a busy time at LAPS, with several top administrators leaving in fairly quick succession, including former superintendent Gene Schmidt, Washburn and his wife Audrey, a longtime employee in the transportation department, and Los Alamos Middle School principal Rex Kilburn.
    For Katzenmeyer-Delgado, she comes to Los Alamos from just down the Hill at Pojoaque. There, she had previously served as building principal, district office administrator and assistant superintendent.
    Her background, according to LAPS, includes working with community members and tribal leaders “that represent a broad range of multicultural communities.”
    Recently, Katzenmeyer-Delgado graduated from the Aspiring Superintendents’ Academy professional development program.

  • Abeyta: Class of 2015 is 'caring,' 'motivated'

    On Saturday morning, the 200-plus graduates that made up Los Alamos High School’s senior class of 2014-15 gathered together in the gym one last time before making that big step toward moving on to bigger challenges and places unknown.
    Guest speakers that included honors graduate Esteban Abeyta, teacher Michelle Holland and LAHS Principal Deborah Belew-Nyquist spoke to the graduates about the challenges that lay ahead for them, as well as the memories and highlights of their four years together at the school.
    Abeyta, who was also the class president for the 2014-15 school year, began by asking his fellow graduates to remember the three, late graduates they had lost along the way.
    “We were blessed to have these wonderful friends, brilliant classmates, these genuinely great individuals in our presence as we grew up here in Los Alamos,” said Abeyta, adding that everyone would do well to remember their “positive energy and their wonderful smiles.”
    On behalf of his graduating class, Abeyta also thanked the teachers and mentors that brought them to this point, adding that it was now up to he and the rest of his classmates to use the lessons they’ve learned and the knowledge they’ve gained to give back.