27 Feb

An Interview with Jessica Keller, LAHS Class of 2004

Recently our executive director, Laura Loy, conducted an interview with Jessica Keller, LAHS class of 2004, to learn what she’s up to now.

LL: Tell us what you’ve been doing since graduating LAHS. Where are you now, and what are you doing?
JK: I’m living in Sacramento CA where I’m a lead line cook at a local restaurant called OneSpeed Pizza. My husband and I moved to Sacramento two years ago to experience something other than NM. His family is originally from this area, and we came out here wanting to be closer to the Bay Area. I like it here. I was in Berkeley yesterday! I started out on the culinary path at Santa Fe Community College where I got my culinary degree. After working at a few restaurants, my mentor and teacher from my culinary program, Michelle Chavez, told me about an opportunity in Albuquerque. That was The Supper Truck that Amy Black and I started from the ground up.  I ran it for about 3 years. It was a lot of cold, early mornings!

LL: How did your time at LAHS set you on your career path?
JK: I was a part of Family Career Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) for a short while and also took some of the Home Economics classes. I really fell in love with those classes. I mostly felt fortunate that they accepted and fostered the creative side of students. They want you to have a well-rounded education when you leave there.

LL: What’s one fond memory you have of your time at LAHS?
JK: I have all kinds of fond memories. In my freshman or sophomore year, we were studying medieval times and the Renaissance. My English and History teachers were dong collaborative projects. Some friends and I got together with our teachers to start a Renaissance fair. Of the students who participated, some chose art, others clothing, culture etc. I chose food of that time period (I laugh now when I look back!). We made dishes that represented that time period. We had our own Renaissance Fair in the gym. Another great memory was doing the Humanities project as a Junior. The class met every day, and we studied religions and cultures from around the world.

LL: What do you think of the new culinary arts facilities at LAHS?
JK: I have not seen them, but I’ve heard a little bit here and there. Some of my friends who still live in Los Alamos have told me about the new facilities.  The Pro Start program sounds wonderful. I found culinary a little later in life. I hopped into a really great job running my truck. I know that fostering a good kitchen environment – it makes me really excited. A lot of kids start from the ground up and it’s a hard life.


Jessica, present day, with her husband Lowry Nakamura

If you have a suggestion for our next featured alumni, please email us.

12 Feb

Larry Baca Memorial Scholarship Fund

Several members of the community approached the LAPS Foundation about setting up a fund for a Larry Baca Memorial Scholarship, to honor their friend and colleague who had such a positive impact on so many in our community. The LAPS Foundation has established such a fund. The scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior of Los Alamos High School who has participated in track or cross-country.

If you wish to contribute to the scholarship fund, you may do so here.

Larry Baca was a renowned coach in Los Alamos for 30 years and member of the Los Alamos High School Hall of Fame and New Mexico Coaches Hall of Fame. Larry was a tremendous athlete at LAHS participating in baseball, basketball, wrestling, football and track. A role model to youth in our community, Larry’s humility, determination and sportsmanship enabled his track teams to achieve numerous district and state track titles.

09 Jan

Spring Grants Will Be Accepted Through March 3, 2019

Update: The deadline to submit a grant application has been extended to March 3, 2019!

Teachers, mark your calendars! The Spring, 2019 applications for Great Ideas, Professional Development and Professional Book Group grants will be accepted February 1 – March 3, 2019. Certified Los Alamos Public Schools teachers may apply. At least $15,000 is available in total for these grants this spring! Learn more about the grants and apply online.

Attend one of our Grant Workshops to learn what makes for a successful application, and then have a chance to start your application with help from our executive director and board members. There are 2 workshops. The content is the same for both. There is no need to RSVP, you can just show up. Bring your laptop if you wish to work on your application.
Thursday, February 7, 4-5pm in the School Board room
Tuesday, February 26, 4-5pm in the School Board room

This school year we have started offering mini grants! Ten grants (up to $100 each) are available each semester. These grants are intended to allow teachers to quickly implement new ideas in their classrooms. Certified Los Alamos Public Schools teachers may apply. Priority will be given to requests that fit within the LAPS Foundation’s strategic plan. Mini grant applications are now being accepted and there is no deadline to apply, but once the 10 have been allotted for the semester, no more will be available until the next semester. Learn more and apply for a mini grant.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

13 Dec

Let’s Raise $35,000 for Our Schools by December 31, 2018!

We’re several months into the new school year, and already the Foundation has been able to infuse more than $15,000 into Los Alamos Public Schools since August! We are just the vessel though; it’s our generous supporters like YOU who make it all possible. We have kicked off our annual year-end campaign with a goal of $35,000. Please consider a gift to this campaign, so that together we can continue making a tremendous difference in our schools and community! Donate now

07 Nov

An Invitation to Our Supporters

Please join us at a special seminar/reception for our supporters on Thursday, December 6, 5:30-6:30pm in the School Board Room. LAPS Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus will brief us on the current school year, Executive Director Laura Loy will give an update on the Foundation’s impact in the schools, and then local CPA Tony Belletete will give a brief but informational presentation about about the impact of the 2018 tax law changes on charitable giving. Tony will also outline the benefits of the Qualified Charitable Deduction for those interested. Tony and local Edward Jones financial advisor Shelly Wiemann will be on hand after the presentation to answer individual questions.

Refreshments will be provided by Pig + Fig, and there will be time to mingle, enjoy, and allow us to once again say THANK YOU!

Feel free to bring a friend! There is no cost to attend, but please register yourself and your guests so we know you are coming.

01 Nov

Grant Spotlight: Culturally Relevant Books

In the fall of 2018, at the suggestion of a teacher, the LAPS Foundation began offering mini-grants to teachers. Each grant is up to $100, and teachers can receive a maximum of 1 mini-grant per school year. The Foundation has allocated $1,000 each in the fall and spring semesters to fund these requests, and so far the return on investment as been huge!

Grant Spotlight:
A new ELL teacher for the district was looking to purchase some books that reflected her students’ backgrounds, ethnicity and cultural experiences. Her rationale was that “when students can connect what they read to their own lives, they have more academic success, feel valued, and are more motivated to read. Currently I have students who have cultural connections to Puerto Rico, Mexico, Vietnam and Israel.” The Foundation was able to help her purchase a dozen books for this purpose.

Here is what one 1st grade student said about one of the books: “I liked the book because it was about a coqui and I have seen one. I liked that it is about Puerto Rico because that is where my grandma lives and where I was born. Can I take it home to read to my mom?”

Success!

01 Nov

Grant Spotlight: LEGOs For STEM

In the fall of 2018, at the suggestion of a teacher, the LAPS Foundation began offering mini-grants to teachers. Each grant is up to $100, and teachers can receive a maximum of 1 mini-grant per school year. The Foundation has allocated $1,000 each in the fall and spring semesters to fund these requests, and so far the return on investment as been huge!

Grant Spotlight:
One teacher at Barranca Elementary School requested a mere $50 for LEGO bricks to be used with her students for STEM activities and sensory breaks. The Foundation awarded the grant, and the teacher was able to purchase and start using the LEGOs right away. Here is what she had to say about the first project: “Students had to build boats and then we tested them to see how well they did in water. Thanks again for approving my grant! I deeply appreciate it- the LEGOs will be such an asset to my classroom.”

01 Nov

Honoring Our Teachers

Did you know that teachers in the State of New Mexico, who start out at Level I, are required to submit a Professional Development Dossier (PDD) at the end of 3-5 years of successful teaching in order to advance to Level II? They don’t have a choice, and yet they must pay for it themselves! Teachers may also choose to seek Level III licensure by submitting an additional PDD after their third year of successful teaching at Level II. Again, they pay for it.

It’s actually quite a lot of work for teachers to prepare these dossiers, so that they can be considered for advancement to the next level. The teacher must compile classroom data (lesson descriptions, handouts, student work, video and audio recordings, photos) with explanations of that data written by the teacher, and accompany it with verification and recommendation by the district superintendent.

The LAPS Foundation recognizes this hard work and sacrifice made by our district teachers, and shows its respect and appreciation for these teachers by reimbursing them for their out-of-pocket expense to procure the advancement. This typically takes place at a School Board meeting at which the teachers are recognized.

This fall, two Los Alamos teachers successfully advanced to Level II: Eric Beckstead and Ted Atkins. Congratulations to them both!

Three cheers for our teachers and all their hard work and dedication!

26 Oct

Thank You for Making Taste of Knowledge a Huge Success!

Once again, Los Alamos came out to support public education at this year’s Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation’s annual fundraiser, A Taste of Knowledge. Thanks to the generosity of many individuals and businesses, the Foundation was able to raise $42,000 for Los Alamos Public Schools. This additional funding will allow the LAPS Foundation to do even more to support teachers, staff, students and school facilities in the coming year. Members of the Board and staff of the LAPS Foundation wish to thank the many people who made the event such a success.
Laura Crucet and her team at Pig + Fig were wonderful to work with. They prepared an amazing assortment of South American dishes, donating both time and resources to make the fundraiser such a success.

Karen Easton worked with Kokoman Fine Wine & Liquor to pick the wines that perfectly paired with the food. Easton also donated her time to serve at the event, along with other volunteer servers Jean Harris, Tony Fox, Dane Spearing and Crucet.

Becca Jones and her LAHS culinary students lent their expertise to assist Pig +Fig with the food preparation. Members of the LAHS Key Club selflessly donated their time to assist with a number of tasks during the evening.

Local guitarist Marcos Cavalcante provided beautiful guitar pieces to accompany the wine and food tasting. Talented tango dancers Jessica Fry and Joseph Cowan delighted the attendees with a tango performance and for the more adventurous, some instruction on how to do the dance.

Many businesses and individuals generously contributed monetary or in-kind donations to the event. They are: Bennett’s Fine Jewelry, Blue Window Bistro, Buffalo Thunder Resort, CB Fox, Century Bank, Chamisa Elementary School, Chris & Helen Ortega, Classic Air Medical, Coca Cola Bottling Company of Santa Fe, Cottonwood on the Green, Don Taylor’s Photography, EXIT Realty Advantage, Friends of Bandelier, Jill Cook, the family of Alex Kirk, Kokoman Fine Wine & Liquor, LA Canvas Events, LA Daily Post, LAPS Athletics, Mary Beth Maassen, Origami, Pajarito Mountain, PEEC, Petree Garden Center & Florist, Pig + Fig Café, Reel Deal Theater, Rotary Club of Los Alamos, Richard Swenson, Ruby K’s, Ryan Finn Quartet, Susan Roach, Suzy Kroesche, Vintage Hair Co., Windgate Healing Arts, and Zia Credit Union.

07 Sep

Now Accepting Grant Applications

 It’s that time of year again – the weather is starting to change, the PSL is on the menu at Starbucks, and the LAPS Foundation is now accepting fall grant applications from LAPS teachers! All applications may be filled out online at https://lapsfoundation.com/educators/apply-for-a-grant/
The three types of grants available are:
  • Great Ideas – These grants support teachers who have ideas for enriching the curriculum or providing students with unique learning experiences. It enables the purchase of special materials or resources for the classroom which are not typically available through the schools’ budgets.
  • Professional Development – These grants give educators the opportunity to advance their skills and knowledge by paying for conferences, seminars and training.
  • Professional Book Groups Grants – These book groups allow educators to examine instructional techniques with the goal of implementing new or refined practices in their classrooms and/or broadening their pedagogical knowledge. The grants cover the cost of the books for all participants.
The deadline to apply for the 3 types of grants listed above is September 28, 2018. The Mini Grants application period will remain open until the $1,000 allotment for fall has been reached. Another $1,000 will become available for mini grants in the spring semester.
We have worked hard to simplify the applications and update the grant guidelines, so we encourage teachers to read through everything before applying. Looking forward to receiving those grant applications!
1 2 3

DONATE     NEWSLETTER