Each year the LAPS Foundation presents roughly 10 graduating LAHS seniors with scholarships. The awards go to students who have demonstrated a balance of academic excellence, extracurricular participation and community service throughout their high school careers. LAPS Foundation scholarship winners chose an Educator of Distinction, who is an educator that had a positive impact on the student’s time in the Los Alamos Public Schools.
2018 Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation Scholarship Winners
Sydne Ashford is the daughter of Kiara Ashford. She will attend Wellesley College in the fall where she will major in Chemistry. Ashford chose Margo Batha as her Educator of Distinction. She said, “Mrs. Batha has influenced me in so many ways, through my career in speech and debate, my passion for equality and intersectional issues, and my college decisions. Mrs. Batha’s presence in my life challenged me to be the best version of myself, so that I can better others around me.”
Ethan Aulwes is the son of Rob Aulwes and Sheila McClees. He plans to study Biomedical Engineering at Dartmouth University in the fall. Aulwes chose Catherine Puranananda as his Educator of Distinction. He said, “Ms. Puranananda has mentored me throughout my high school journey and instilled a perspective for learning that defines a liberal arts education as a way of life. As an advisor she has shown me the value of being a multi-dimensional student which has profoundly shaped my identity.”
Eben Bold is the son of Jeffery Bold and Mary Grace. He will pursue Acting and Economics at the University of Southern California. Bold chose Brian Easton as his Educator of Distinction. He said, “Before Dr. Easton’s Economics class, I always knew that I enjoyed economics, but I had no idea that I would be planning on majoring in it one day. I believe that I can attribute my choice in major in part to Dr. Easton and his love for the subject he teaches.”
Onnolee Englert Erickson is the daughter of Andrew Erickson and Maribeth Englert. She plants to attend Stony Brook University in the fall, where she will major in Astronomy. Englert Erickson chose Stephanie Mitchell as her Educator of Distinction. She said, “Being a part of Ms. Mitchell’s classroom for two years has had an immense impact on me, especially because she is a woman in science. She has been my role model throughout my past two years and she has shown me that I can be a part of science. She has taught me the importance of integrity and honor, and I will always remember that.”
Caleb Hatler is the son of Karri Hatler. He will attend LeTourneau University in the fall where he will study Mechanical Engineering. Hatler chose his middle school band director, Ryan Finn, as his Educator of Distinction. He said, “My most pivotal musical experience was during middle school with my music director Mr. Finn. He exemplifies what it means to be an Educator of Distinction, being both the most encouraging and most enthusiastic teacher I know. Ryan Finn has been an inspiration to how I perform, lead, and live my life, and will always be someone I look up to.”
Radhika Iyer is the daughter of Srinivas and Rashi Iyer. She plans to study Biology at the University of California at Berkley. Iyer chose her 6th grade teacher Lana Martin as her Educator of Distinction. She stated, “At its simplest level, Ms. Martin taught me to love the complexities of mathematics. In reality, she fostered an innate curiosity that has motivated my exploration into the STEM fields. Ms. Martin’s decorated classroom became a place of a growth and learning that has inspired me to broaden my perspective and to push against the bounds of what I think I know.”
Junseo Kim is the son of Yongho and Hyunjoo Kim. He will major in Cognitive Science at Northeastern University. For his Educator of Distinction, Kim selected Lynn Ovaska. He said “Mrs. Ovaska helped me realize how relevant psychology is in the world I live in. Through psychology, I could directly influence someone’s life; I saw a future in helping others improve their mental health. Thanks to Mrs. Ovaska, I am constructing my plans for the future as a cognitive scientist. I hope to bring together people who are struggling and directly influence their lives for the better.”
Vincent Marciano is the son of Vincent Marciano and Laurie Gallegos. He plans to attend the University of Denver in the fall where he will study Biology. Marciano chose Jonathan Lathrop as his Educator of Distinction. He wrote, “Through his always welcoming attitude and encouragement, Mr. Lathrop is one of the easiest teachers to talk to at LAPS. He has always been extremely supportive of me and my ideas. At the same time he makes sure I am responsible for my tasks and the projects I am a part of. High school would not have been the same for me if it were not for Mr. Lathrop’s constant jokes, puzzles, and random puns. He is a teacher that I highly respect”
Beatrice Nisoli is the daughter of Cristiano and Donatella Nisoli. She will study International Relations and English at the University of New Mexico. Nisoli also selected Catherine Puranananda as her Educator of Distinction. She said, “Mrs. Puranananda made me realize the significance of my interests in history and literature by focusing on the impacts each has on our contemporary world. In constantly nurturing and praising my passion for liberal arts, Mrs. P has inspired me to major in English in addition to my previously selected majors. I have emerged from her class not only a better writer, but a more open-minded and intellectually curious scholar.”
Benjamin Rees is the son of Daniel Rees and Amy Regan. He will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall where he will major in Chemistry. Rees selected Allen Andraski as his Educator of Distinction. Of Mr. Andraski Rees said, “He provided us the resources to make the most out of our education and encouraged us to find our passions and chase them. Mr. Andraski exposed me to different ways of thinking and urged me to apply the lessons we learned in class to better understand my surrounding world and the ties that connect us as a society. Looking back, no teacher has had a greater impact on my development as a scholar and global citizen in an interconnected world as Mr. Andraski.”
Ruby Selvage is the daughter of Ron and Kimberly Selvage. She plans to attend Northern Arizona University in the fall. Selvage was specially selected as the most meritorious recipient and was presented also with the Rynd Award. The award is made possible by a large bequest left to the LAPS Foundation by Ed and Betty Rynd, a couple with a passion for community service and our schools. Selvage selected LAHS librarian Ken Holmes as her Educator of Distinction. In her essay, she stated “Mr. Holmes is at the library for the purpose of helping the students. He always wants students to come up to him with questions. He is constantly coming up with new and fun ideas to try and get the students excited and more into books. Working alongside him made me want to start volunteering at the county library, which I did for about a year, and that has lead to my current job there.”
Miriam Wallstrom is the daughter of Timothy and Leslie Wallstrom. She plans to major in History at Stanford University. Wallstrom chose her 6th grade teacher, Ivanna Austell, as her Educator of Distinction. She said, “Her enthusiasm for learning inspired me to do my best, and she taught me that being a nerd is something to be proud of – a lesson that has helped motivate me to take advanced classes throughout high school. Ms. Austell helped me hone my confidence, and I walked out of sixth grade more prepared and motivated than ever before, a timid girl ready for the big world of middle school, and ultimately, high school.”
Scholarships Administered by the LAPS Foundation
In addition to its own scholarships, the LAPS Foundation administers the following scholarships, by managing the funds and in some cases reviewing applications and selecting the winners:
George and Joan moved to Los Alamos in 1954 and raised 6 children, all of whom graduated from LAHS. George worked at LANL and served several terms on the School Board. George and Joan both believe every child deserves a chance to further their education. A need based scholarship to students pursuing a 2 or 4 year degree at an accredited college or university, or an accredited technical-vocational program or certification. The 2018 George and Joan Bjarke Scholarship was awarded to Anastasija Draganic, Samantha Levings, and Desere Martinez.
The Irene Boone Memorial Scholarship is made possible through the generosity of long-time resident and pediatrician, Dr. Irene Boone and her husband, Zanas “Slim” Boone. The 2018 winners were Anastasija Draganic and Adah Gellis.
Jim 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. The 2018 winners of this scholarship were Caleb Hatler and Sophia Li (shown at left with Becky Sims).
This scholarship was created in honor of June Ettinger, who was a long-time resident of Los Alamos, arriving in town in 1961 when her husband was hired by Los Alamos National Laboratory. 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. Applicants were asked to write a personal narrative concerning an age-appropriate book. The 2018 recipient was Isabella Stephens for her review of the book I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak.
Thomas Intrator was a distinguished plasma physicist at LANL who ardently encouraged, fostered and practiced a sense of curiosity. This inquisitiveness, and occasional, “militant naivete”, defined his approach not just professionally in physics, but also in life. Wonder at the natural world, and a drive to understand, were moral imperatives that he hoped to instill in those around him. This scholarship is awarded each year to a student who earnestly adapts these principals towards application in a STEM major. The 2018 winner was Ben Rees.