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Education

  • School district passes budget, names Venhaus to board

    The Los Alamos Board of Education has a budget and a new school board member.

    At a special meeting Saturday, the school board approved a $33.1 million budget and named Dawn Venhaus as its newest member.

    Venhaus lives in White Rock and will replace Thelma Hahn, who announced her resignation two weeks ago.

    Venhaus and her family moved to New Mexico in 1998 and to the Los Alamos area in 2001. Her husband Tom works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and she has two children, Graeyson and Elannah. The board voted unanimously to approve her appointment.

  • Allen named LAPS Teacher of the Year

    Sharon Allen, a Barranca first grade teacher, was named the Los Alamos Teacher of the Year.  She was one of seven teachers in the district nominated for the award. The announcement of her selection was made at a ceremony at Fuller Lodge May 5.  
    Along with a plaque, Allen received an honorarium from the LAPS Foundation.
    Allen has served in the district since 1997 as both a kindergarten and a first grade teacher. During her years of service to the district, Allen is credited for introducing hundreds of Barranca students to the world of reading and mathematics.

  • Ballet battle: Schools lock horns over ‘Nutcracker’

    The Los Alamos Public Schools has found itself in the middle of some tricky situations before, but probably never like the position it found itself in Thursday night.

    Board members, along with the attorney representing the district, John F. Kennedy of the Cuddy and McCarthy law firm based in Santa Fe, were caught in the middle of a lease dispute between two local dance schools, Dance Arts Los Alamos and New Mexico Dance Theater.

    Each side appeared at the school board meeting with legal representation. Local attorney Lynn Finnegan represented DALA, while Roxie De Santiago of the Jones Firm, based in Santa Fe, represented NMDT.

  • School budget approval stalls

    Going into Thursday night’s Los Alamos Board of Education meeting it appeared as though passage of the district’s $33.1 million budget was all but a done deal. However, some last minute questions stalled the board vote leaving the budget item tabled.

  • District set to finalize budget

    The Los Alamos Board of Education is set to finalize its $33.1 million budget in a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Pajarito Cliffs conference room.

    The district’s budget is due to the state by May 25, and with some surgical cuts in specific programs combined with some help from Los Alamos County, it appears the board will be able to submit a balanced budget for the next fiscal year.

    Public schools face a 2.8 percent reduction in state aid next year and lawmakers questioned Wednesday whether changes are needed in New Mexico’s financing formula to ensure districts receive their fair share of taxpayer dollars for education.

  • Bell schedule changes are coming for LAHS

    With the coming school year, Los Alamos High School students have more to look forward to than new teachers. A new bell schedule will also be part of their day when school begins in August.
    The instructional day will begin at 7:50 a.m., instead of the current time of 8:10 a.m. This means that high school students will get a 20-minute jump on their school day. Though this might not appeal to some students who would prefer a later start time, there is a perk to starting the day earlier: regularly scheduled classes for students will end at 2:35 p.m., instead of the current end-time of 3:10 p.m.

  • UNM-LA students celebrate 30th convocation

    Long hours of studying, test-taking and attending classes paid off for University of New Mexico-Los Alamos students Friday.

    Friends and family gathered in Duane Smith Auditorium at 6 p.m. to watch the 47 UNM-LA graduates receive their degrees and certificates as part of the 30th annual graduation convocation. Twenty-eight General Education Development Diploma recipients also joined in the celebration as they received their GEDs.

    UNM-LA’s Executive Director Dr. Cedric Page opened the ceremony with a welcome address, followed by the convocation address, given by Denise Thronas, an Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo resident and the technical project manager for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  • Thelma Hahn resigns from school board

    Following the final approval of the 2011-2012 budget, one Los Alamos Board of Education member is resigning. Thelma Hahn, who represents the Piñon neighborhood, announced on Tuesday that she plans to leave her seat on the board effective May 20.

    In a letter to the school board, Hahn said that she was asked in December 2008 to run for the District 1 position. She agreed to run, but added a stipulation of serving only two years of a four-year term.

  • District does budget balancing act

    The clock is ticking for Los Alamos Public Schools. The budget is due to the state on May 25 and with help from Los Alamos County, it looks like the district might just be able to trim approximately $600,000 from its budget.

    During Tuesday’s meeting at Pajarito Cliffs Site, the school board reviewed and approved the budget with a 5-0 vote.

  • District Speech contest winners announced

    Los Alamos Public Schools announce the winners of the District Speech Contest, held April 13 at Piñon Elementary.
    The event, run by Piñon teacher Rose Martin, hosted two finalists from each of the five elementary schools. Each school had their own speech contest during spring, with students competing in either the Serious or Humorous category. School winners advanced to the District Contest to compete with four other contestants in each category.
    Laura Partin of Chamisa Elementary placed first in the Serious category for her speech, an excerpt from “Good Masters, Sweet Ladies” by Laura Amy Schlitz.