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Education

  • Students urged to ride bus

    The Los Alamos Public School district has something special planned for those that choose to ride the school bus Wednesday, a voucher for one free ice cream cone from Daniel’s Cafe, located on Trinity Drive.
    The district is hoping that the free ice cream will pay off for its transportation department as well as all Los Alamos residents down the road when the New Mexico Public Education Department cuts another check for the school’s transportation budget next year.
    Wednesday is the day the NMPED tallies the numbers of all those who use school transportation to get to school. That number is then factored into amount NMPED funds next year’s school transportation budget, which also includes the cars and trucks officials use throughout the district.
    “Students who are eligible to ride the school bus can really help fund the cost of the transportation program by riding the school bus on that day,” read a statement in a recent press release. “It is estimated that close to 1,800 students could ride the school bus, but fewer than 900 have chosen to do so.”

  • Students kick off campaign

    A group of Los Alamos High School students ascended the stairs to the walkway over Diamond Drive Wednesday, banner in hand, intent on sending a message to Los Alamos.
    The message? That domestic violence in Los Alamos isn’t cool. With help and blessings from the Los Alamos Police Department, they swung the banner over the walkway fence, with the police congratulating them for a job well done.
    The banner read: “Domestic Violence: You Are Not Alone.” Underneath it were numbers victims could call and get help. The numbers included 911, the main emergency number; 211, a local number that gives local information and referrals and 1-800-206-1656, the Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico’s 24-hour hotline. The LAPD also listed their website at www.losalsmosnm.us/police.
    According LAPD Officer Adele Girmendonk, the LAPD will be posting other information on domestic violence prevention on the site throughout the year. They also want the public to know that their domestic violence prevention campaign will also include resources to deal with family violence, sexual assault, date rape, sex trafficking and other forms of violence.
    “Over the next year, we’d like to hit on all of those topics,” Girmendonk said.

  • Chamisa kids run to milestone

    Thirty to 50 kids from Chamisa braved a cold October dawn earlier this week to do what they’ve always done every Tuesday and Thursday for the past four years…. run a few laps around the field next to the school. But this morning was special; Thursday marked a milestone for the Chamisa Running Club. Thursday morning marked the club’s collective 400th mile, according to their running coaches Jeremy and Trisha Conlin. So, on top of their usual prizes for running the course and then some, they had counselor Michaelangelo Lobato and teacher David Parsons run with them. Also running with them was Los Alamos School Resource Officer Adele Girmendonk, who handed out special badges to the children after their historic feat. Their next goal is to get that asphalt track they always wanted so the little runners will have a smoother go of it. If you would like to know more about their project, be sure to contact the Chamisa Parent Teacher Organization for more info on how you can help. Contact the PTO at chamisaelementary@gmail.com or call the school at 663-2470. 

  • Paws and stripes at Piñon

    Three fifth grade students from Piñon Elementary recently came forward with a pretty neat fundraising idea.
    For their fundraising project, Morgan Hayes, Nick Dolin and Aidan Royer opted to raise about $2,000 for Paws and Stripes, an organization that helps war veterans suffering with traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder.
    According to their written proposal, how Paws and Stripes, and organization based in Rio Rancho does this is pretty unique.
    “Paws and Stripes saves a dog’s life from a kill shelter and people train the dog to help a soldier that’s been in war. ... Paws and Stripes provides the service dog for free to the soldier and spends $2,000 to train each dog,” read a statement in their report.
    Recently, the young men appeared at a work session of the Los Alamos School Board to get the word out about their idea. They plan on holding various fundraising activities throughout October, and right up until Veteran’s Day Nov. 11.
    Originally, the kids suggested dog walking, lawn mowing, raking leaves and shoveling snow to raise money, but their principal, Jill Gonzales, helped them broaden their approach.

  • Teacher day of action

    Congressman Ben Ray Lujan and Representative Stephanie Garcia Richard welcomed more than 40 Los Alamos Public School teachers and volunteers for Saturday’s Los Alamos Teacher Day of Action.

  • Students drum up support to begin anti-bullying drive

    If a group of girl scouts from Los Alamos are successful, the schoolyard bully could soon become a thing of the past here.
    Piñon students Rachel Norman, Amber Royer, and Chamisa students Amelia Duffy, Lidia Appell and Cassidy Trujillo started the project out of a conversation they had about stereotyping.
    “But, it turned into matter of bullying and the person we were talking to started crying. It was very emotional, and we all ended up giving that person a big bear hug,” said one of the girls at a recent presentation of their project to the school board.
    Called “Link Arms in LA,” the concept is pretty simple.
    They said that whenever they see anyone being bullied, they are calling on students to gently intervene by pointing out the wrong to the bully and sticking up for the victim and perhaps joining arms with the victim, which will hopefully attract like minded people to their rescue.
    “It’s all about safety in numbers” said one of the girls at the meeting.
    So far, “Link Arms in LA” is only in Chamisa and Piñon, but the girls hope to start the project in the other schools as well. Their target group, they said, is fourth grade and all the way up into high school.

  • National Merit semifinalists

    Officials recently of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Los Alamos High School is pleased to acknowledge that 14 members of the Class of 2015 have received this distinction. They are Leyla Akhadov, Daniel Ben-Naim, Sally Grindstaff, Andrew (AJ) Makela, Katharine Margevicius, David Murphy, Colin Redman, Benjamin Reichelt, Sara Stubben, Alexander Swart, Vincent Tang, Sarah Wallstrom, Harrison Williams and William Zhao. Alexandr Wang, who was graduated with the Class of 2014, was also named a semifinalist. “This is a very prestigious accomplishment attained by these students,” said Principal Dr. Debbie Belew-Nyquist. “We are very proud of them.”

  • UNM-LA unveils writing class

    If facing a blank computer screen at work or in the classroom causes you stress, UNM-LA has scheduled a course to erase writing fears and polish skills.
    The late-starting, three-credit course, English 220, begins on Tuesday, Oct. 14.
    Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-1:30 p.m. in UNM-LA Building 2, Room 220.
    UNM-LA English 220 instructor Betty Katz has faced many blank screens and demanding deadlines herself as a writer and editor for several national and international publications. She is enthusiastic about sharing her writing techniques with students and welcomes course participants from LANL or any other workgroup.
    Katz said, “Recently I came across a quotation from The National Commission on Writing. Their words focus on the importance of good writing in the 21st century workplace.” The commission notes, “Good writing is taken as a given in today’s professional work. Writing is a threshold skill for salaried employment and promotion.”
    The ENGL 220 course will help students polish their writing skills for the workplace as well as for the classroom.
    Katz said the ENGL 220 course will help students keep their writing clear and effective for readers.
    To register for ENGL 220, contact UNM-LA Student Services at 662-0332. 

  • LAHS students rack up AP scholar awards

    Eighty-one students at Los Alamos High School have earned AP scholar Awards in recognition of their achievement on AP Exams.
    The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP) provides students with the opportunity to take college-level courses while still in high school, and to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on the AP Exams.
    About 22 percent of the 2.2 million students worldwide who took AP Exams performed at a level to also earn an AP Scholar Award.
    The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on students’ performance on AP Exams.
    At Los Alamos High School, 10 students qualified for the National AP Scholar Award by earning an average score of 4 or higher on a five-point scale on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.
    These students are Daniel Ahrens, George Barnum, Alexandra Berl, Sudeep Dasari, Matthew Davenport, Colin Hemez, Ju Hyun Lee, Alexander Swart, Lauren Tencate and Alexandr Wang.

  • Board tweaks 'super' plan

    With an eye toward picking the best candidate possible, Los Alamos School Board members Kevin Honnell and Jim Hall presented a revamped superintendent search plan at Tuesday night’s special board meeting.
    The major change in the plan will be instead of starting with a regional search before expanding into a national search, the board has opted to “go national” from the start.
    “Last Tuesday night, at the regular meeting, the board voted to proceed directly with a national search and commissioned Jim and I to update our initial recommendations, which is the point of this meeting tonight,” said Honnell to the board. Honnell, who is also the board’s vice president, referred to their new plan as “Superintendent Search 2.0.”
    Key points in their timeline are:
    • Formulating a bid proposal by Sept. 26
    • Establishing advisory committees by Sept. 30
    • Establishing qualifications for the job by Oct. 23
    • Identification and/or selection of a search firm by Oct. 17
    • Job posted, applications accepted in the month of November
    • Having search firm narrow down the selection of candidates from roughly 12 to six by Dec. 17
    • Board to then narrow down that selection from roughly four to two by Jan. 16