Celebration of Success Scholarships

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2015 LAPS Foundation Scholarship Winners

Ten outstanding students have been awarded the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation scholarship.  Each student demonstrated a balance of academic excellence, extracurricular participation and community service throughout their high school careers.  Winners chose an Educator of Distinction; this is an education professional that had a positive impact on the student’s time in the Los Alamos Public Schools.

 

 

Kimberly Pestovich is named the 2015 Ed & Betty Rynd Memorial Scholarship Winner, the most meritorious of the LAPS Foundtion scholarship winners.

 

 

 

Kimberly Pestovich selected Mary Grace, her Fine Art teacher at LAHS, as her Educator of Distinction. Pestovich said of Grace, “I have studied Fine Arts with Ms. Grace for three years now, but it seems like much longer. She has built up my skills as an artist, but has also improved my character. Her art room is a sanctuary in which I can relax and become inspired.  I have not met another teacher in LAPS with the same kind heart and genuine interest in students’ success.” Pestovich will attend New Mexico State University at Las Cruces to study Chemical Engineering and Material Science. She is the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Pestovich.

 


 

Esteban Abeyta chose Catherine Puranananda, his Advanced Placement Literature teacher, as his Educator of Distinction.

 

 

 

 

Abeyta said of Puranananda, “Your dedication to all students at Los Alamos High School provides us with the motivation that someone truly believes in everything we put our minds to. Thank you for the multiple writing conferences and your valuable, sacrificed time to help all the AP Lit students succeed. Your daily sacrifice was a powerful motivation for me.” Abeyta will attend the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque to study Biochemistry.  He is the son of Joe and Eva Abeyta. 




 

 

Samual Flesner chose Scott Pomeroy, his Auto Mechanics teacher at LAHS, as his Educator of Distinction.

 

 

 

 

Flesner said of Pomeroy and the Auto Shop classes, “Mr. Pomeroy has taught many teens about mechanics, and the art of paint and body. At the age of 17 I have owned six cars, three mopeds and motorcycle. All were bought for a deal and I was able to turn them into good running and reliable vehicles. I consider myself to be extremely lucky because I had a great teacher who taught me valuable skills and confidence and because LAHS has one of the only schools in state with an auto shop.”Flesner will attend University of New Mexico at Albuquerque and plans to study Mechanical Engineering. He is the son of Raymond and Fran Flesner.

 


 

 

 

Luke Kachelmeier chose Kathy Boerigter, his Advanced Placement Chemistry teacher as his Educator of Distinction.

 

 

 

 

 

Kachelmeier said of Boerigter, “She is a wonderful teacher, trying her best to make sure that everyone understands the concepts. Whenever I could not grasp an idea in class I knew that I could always go to her and she would happily help. She always encouraged me to challenge myself in chemistry and supported me every step of the way. Mrs. Boerigter was also an amazing Key Club advisor.” Kachelmeier will attend University of New Mexico at Albuquerque to study Mathematics with plans to teach.  He is the son of Brian and Andrea Kachelmeier.

 

 

 

Dakota Klasky chose Brian Easton, her Economics teacher, as her Educator of Distinction. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Klasky said of Easton, “He cares about the knowledge all students gain from his class and how they are doing in their home or social lives. I appreciate that Mr. Easton does not have a favorite student. He treats all students equally, and is kind and helpful to everyone. It is because of Mr. Easton that I chose my major in college because his class has allowed me to become engaged, and his endless answers inspire me to learn.” Klasky will attend the University of California at Los Angelas to study Mathematical Engineering. She is the daughter of Marc and Kristen Klasky.

 

 

 

 

Gianna Maggiore chose Judy Nekimken, her LAHS Mathematics teacher, as her Educator of Distinction. 

 

 

 

 

Maggiore said of Nekimken, “She took the time to find out what students were involved in and interested in, and then reconnected with them about it throughout the year-- how they were doing in whatever sport they played, spring break plans, current events, all that and more. Mrs. Nekimken is one of most genuine, fair, and compassionate teachers I have ever met.” Maggiore will attend University of Texas at Dallas to study Neuroscience (premed).  She is the daughter of Pete Maggiore and Rachel Cowan.

 

 

 

 

Aletta Marciano chose Catherine Puranananda, her Advanced Placement Literature teacher, as his Educator of Distinction.

 

 

 

 

 

Marciano said of Puranananda, “She has helped me to reach not only my full academic potential, but additionally, helped me thrive in my personal life. Through her constant support, occasional criticism, and encouragingly strong direction, I have truly been able to ‘embrace my nerdy side,’ both inside and outside of my academic life, and have fun while doing so.” Marciano will attend Pepperdine University in Malibu, California to study Biology.  She is the daughter of Vince Marciano and Laurie Gallegos.



 

 

Emma Phillips chose Sherry Anderson, her Algebra II/Trigonometry teacher, as her Educator of Distinction.

 

 

 

 

Phillips said of Anderson, “Mrs. Anderson believed in me and it gave me the confidence to take on harder classes and challenge myself. Mrs. Anderson found ways to make learning interesting on a daily basis. Her classes were always enjoyable and something to which I looked forward. Mrs. Anderson is an incredible person and an even more incredible teacher.” Phillips will attend the University of Arizona at Tucson to study Business Management. She is the daughter of David and Edie May Phillips.

 

 

 

 

Alexander Swart chose Kathy Boerigter, his Advanced Placement Chemistry teacher at LAHS, as his Educator of Distinction.

 

 

 

 

Swart said of Boerigter, “I am fully confident that no other teacher has given me the depth of knowledge, unique skill set, and passion for science and math as did Mrs. Boerigter. She played a key role in making me the person I am today. She sparked my passion for chemistry and biology and gave me the knowledge and guidance I need for the career of my dreams.” Swart will attend Rice University in Houston, Texas to study Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. He is the son of Pieter and Aletta Swart.



 

 

 

Samuel Wolfe chose Lieutenant Commander Wes Shumaker, his NJORTC teacher as his Educator of Distinction.

 

 

 

 

Wolfe said of Shumaker, “I have chosen Lieutenant Commander  Shumaker as my educator of distinction for his pivotal role in my formation as a leader. He asks for many things that enhance leadership, among these are making presentations and effectively presenting them to the class, planning a full class and implementing the plan, and creating a resume.  These are skills which have been helpful in high school and will be helpful for the rest of my life.” Wolfe will attend the University of Oklahoma at Norman to study Mechanical Engineering. He is the son of William and Maria Wolfe.

 

 

June Ettinger Memorial Scholarship

Sopahn Kellogg is the recipient of the June Ettinger Memorial Scholarship for 2015. She wrote eloquently about The Tao of Pooh, which was written to help the reader understand the tenants of Taoism by using the well known story of Winnie the Pooh.

“Eeyore frets … and Piglet hesitates … and Rabbit calculates … Owl pontificates … and Pooh just is. Using these familiar players allowed me to recognize myself in them, smile and hopefully let them go,” Kellogg said. “The author, identifying these traits in such a light hearted way, allowed a chance for gentle self acceptance and to be a little more Pooh like, not trying so hard. Pooh just is.”

Kellogg will attend Whittier College in Whittier, Calif., and plans to double major in international business and psychology. She is the daughter of Marvel Harrison and Tom Csanadi.

June Ettinger was a long-time resident of Los Alamos and for more than 20 years she taught third and fourth grade at Barranca Mesa and Mountain Elementary schools. She read extensively, and was frequently at the Mesa Public Library. 

“Ettinger would be very pleased that a scholarship was established in her name, jointly managed by the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries and the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation, to assist Los Alamos High School graduates like Sopahn Kellogg in completing their college education,” LAPSF Executive Director Joanna Gillespie said. 

 

 

Stoddard Scholarship for Nursing and Education

The Stoddard Scholarship for Nursing and Education, were the result of Steve Stoddard’s work on the Board of the Caldera National Preserve, where he helped decide the future of the unique and beautiful area of Northern New Mexico. Steve was paid a stipend for his work and the money accumulated during his years of service. The late Steve Stoddard, along with his wife Barbara, recognized the need for more quality teachers and nurses. Thus, they formed this scholarship which is awarded to an outstanding graduate of LAHS planning to major in Nursing or Education at an accredited New Mexico College or University. The 2015 Stoddard Scholarship Winners for Teaching is Luke Kachelmeier.

 

 

Luke plans to attend the University of New Mexico this fall to pursue degrees in mathematics and education.

“My goal is to be someone that children will look up to, to see excellence and guidance, someone they will look up to and strive to be,” he said. “My experience this year, helping third grade students with reading at Aspen Elementary, along with my passion to help others, inspired me to be a teacher.”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Sims Engineering Memorial Scholarship

 

The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation is pleased to have awarded the Jim Sims Memorial Engineering Scholarship to Los Alamos High School graduates Kimberly Pestovich and Samuel Sherrill

Scholarship winner Kimberly Pestovich will attend New Mexico State University to study chemical engineering and materials science. She is the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Dianne Pestovich.

Scholarship winner Samuel Sherrill will attend Brigham Young University to study chemical engineering. He is the son of David and Jill Sherill.

Sims worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a mechanical engineer for 34 years. During his distinguished career, he worked as a design engineer and as a leader of project engineering teams. He was an internationally recognized expert in high-field magnet design and had an unparalleled knowledge of hardware engineering, design, and fabrication. He was committed to sharing his knowledge and experience through mentoring young engineers, designers and students. Sims also was a dedicated husband and father and always supported his children as they followed their interests and passions. As a family, Sims’ wife Becky and grown children Jessica and Bradford began this scholarship to

 

 

Tyler Van Anne Memorial Scholarship

 

The first scholarship in the amount of $1,000 is awarded to Sophan Kellog.  Kellog initiated the “Reach Toward not Away” a teen suicide prevention program.  She will attend Whittier College in Whittier, Calif., and plans to double major in international business and psychology. She is the daughter of Marvel Harrison and Tom Csanadi.

Five additional honorary scholarships were awarded the following graduates: Sam Flesner, Trevor Pacheco, Chris Parker, Wesley Skidmore and Jon Michael Weaver. “Each of these five amazing young men has all reached out to others in their lives to make a difference,” Van Anne said.

A beloved son and brother, Tyler is remembered through a scholarship awarded to a graduation senior at Los Alamos High School, “who demonstrates positive character traits; involvement in community; and being a successful role model in demonstrating love, understanding, and compassion for self and others.”

 

 

Thank you to Don Taylor Photography!

 

The Foundation encourages members of the community to support the Foundation by growing its endowment through tax-deductible donations for the betterment of Los Alamos Public School district and its students.

 

Click Here for 2012 Winners
Click Here for 2013 Winners
Click Here for 2014 Winners

 




  • CONTACT
    Laura Loy
    Executive Director
    1900 Diamond Drive, Suite 1
    Los Alamos, NM 87544
    Phone: (505) 500-6501


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