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LAHS rated one of the top N.M. schools

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

U.S. News and World Report recently released their ratings for the top schools in the United States and Los Alamos High School takes a gold medal. LAHS took the number three spot for the state of New Mexico behind the Albuquerque Institute of Math and Science and South Valley Academy.
“The performance of our AP students and the high quality program that our AP teachers provides a visual comparison,” said Dr. Gene Schmidt, Los Alamos Public Schools superintendent. “A comparison that highlights performances higher than the national average as compared with students from around the nation.”
One thing that adds to the success of LAHS in their ratings is the number of Advanced Placement or AP classes and how well students due in the course.
“AP classes, in general, have a much faster pace than other classes, have students who are more motivated to dive into a subject or master it prior to leaving the high school,” said AP math teacher, Judy Nekimken. “Those classes have students who generally are pretty good at thinking analytically and my students are measured against many thousands of others who are taught the same demanding curriculum at the end of the course.”
Nekimken started her educational career 29 years ago and has been proud of her students ever since. Recently, a former student from the class of 1986-87 returned, wondering if the educator remembered him, a job hazard for anyone in education, but indeed, she did remember him well. Ironically, Nekimken could see at the age of 16 how impressive he was and he attributes his success, in part, to her.
Schmidt knows success begins early, even as early as in the home, through high levels of parent involvement in education that has the luxury of carrying over into the schools. However he also credits to the success of every student to all of the educators throughout the district as a whole.
“Our students also benefit from high quality instruction of our teachers throughout their school experience,” Schmidt said. “Every teacher and every year becomes a building block that prepares students for a rigorous high school experience.”
Schmidt, who recently left the district is sure to take some of his fondest staff memories with him to Farmington.
The full story is available online at usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/new-mexico.