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Education

  • Back to School section timed for Tax-Free Weekend

    The Los Alamos Monitor will be producing a special section dubbed "Back to School" that will publish August 3.

    The BTS section will include information about the upcoming school year from public schools officials, and it typically includes bus schedules and other news related to local schools.

    BTS is timed to coincide with the state's tax-free weekend, which is slated for Aug. 5-7 this year. The tax-free event is designed to give parents a break from Gross Reciepts Tax for buying clothing, supplies, and even computers in gearing up to get children ready to return to school.

  • LAMS promotes Kilburn to principal

    Former Los Alamos Middle School Assistant Principal Rex Kilburn was selected as the school’s new principal. Kilburn takes over the position vacated by Donna Grim, who is leaving to pursue an advanced degree.

    Kilburn previously worked for five years at Pinon Elementary in White Rock, where he taught under the direction of principals James Telles and Megan Lee. For the last two years, he served as the assistant LAMS principal.  

    Before his arrival in Los Alamos, Kilburn worked in three Alaskan communities, including Skagway, Kake and Sitka.  He received his B.A. in Elementary Education at the College of Idaho and his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.

  • LAHS catch-up work gains funding

    The Las Conchas Fire scorched more than 149,250 acres and threatened Los Alamos National Laboratory property as well as the Los Alamos town site on June 26 and is still not fully contained.
    Not only were Los Alamos residents displaced for a week because of the
    mandatory evacuation ordered because of the raging fire, but business in Los Alamos came to a screeching halt and a major headache was also created for the Los Alamos High School construction project. The project was stopped because of the evacuation and is now approximately a week behind schedule.
    As a result, the district has opted to use $86,000 from their contingency fund of approximately $300,000 in the hope of having the E Wing and the Instructional Media Center ready for move-in on Aug. 22.

  • LAPS bolsters art education with $209,000 grant

    So far 2011 has not been kind to school districts in the State of New Mexico; Los Alamos is no exception. Due to tough financial times, districts were forced to cut 3.4 percent from their budgets this year.

    LAPS received some help from Los Alamos County by way of reducing fees at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center and agreeing to share certain employee costs, but were still forced to trim approximately $600,000 from its budget.

    Despite the cuts, the LAPS Fine Arts Program continues to thrive thanks to the Fine Arts Education Act Grant. For the past 10 years, LAPS has received funding through the FAEA grant. LAPS teacher Kim Letellier, serves as the fine arts grant coordinator. She’s also the music team leader for the district.

  • Board OKs bond sale Tuesday

    Tuesday night the Los Alamos Public Schools Board met for the first time since the 2010-11 school year ended in May.

    The members discussed a mixed bag of topics, including high school, middle school and Aspen Elementary construction updates, a change in the schedule of fees for long-term rentals; a bond sale resolution, monthly status reports, a journal entry report for May, a first and second reading of policies and updates on the district’s new headquarters at 2075 Trinity Dr., as well as an update on the status of negotiations with the developer on the Trinity Site Development at 751 Trinity Dr.

  • DOE sponsors college program

    UNM-Los Alamos has joined forces with six Northern New Mexico colleges to offer Accelerate New Mexico. This program, sponsored by the Department of Energy, provides curriculum and coaching designed to quickly prepare people of various ages and all educational backgrounds for employment in technical fields.
    Students will have the opportunity to apply for tuition assistance, course credit, and a stipend. A coach will guide students, help place students in internships and assist them with future employment. Nontraditional students or working people interested in either pursuing a certificate program or returning to college for career training are a good fit for the Accelerate program.

  • Class of 2011 bids farewell to LAHS

    Applause and cheers filled the air of Griffith Gymnasium Saturday as the 247 members of the class of 2011 gathered one last time to celebrate what might be one of the greatest accomplishments of their high school careers: graduation.

    The graduates’ families and friends packed the bleachers in support of the students. The Los Alamos High School Commencement Band performed the processional, while the LAHS NJROTC opened the ceremony and presented the colors.

    Graduating senior Keanna Cohen introduced student speaker, graduating senior Bahram Banisadr, who addressed the crowd and spoke about the future for 2011 graduates and their accomplishments, so far.

  • School’s out forever

    Los Alamos High School seniors packed Griffith Gymnasium Saturday morning for the commencement ceremony. Following some final words from student Erik Edelmann, the graduating class of 2011 tossed their caps in the air to celebrate their accomplishment. For a closer look at this year’s graduating class, see the special section inside today’s newspaper.

  • Teen surveys: No vice is off limits

    Every community has its issues with teens using drugs and alcohol, having sex, skipping school, bullying and suicide. Los Alamos is no different.
    Every year, Los Alamos Middle School and Los Alamos High School students take surveys, which ask them about issues like marijuana, cigarette and alcohol use and sexual activity.
    At Thursday night’s board of education meeting, Morrie Pongratz presented the results of this year’s survey. Students have taken the “Pride” survey every year since 1988.

  • Board Passes Budget, Gets New Member

    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.