Each year the LAPS Foundation presents approximately 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.
2019 Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation Scholarship Winners
Paulina Burnside is the daughter of Nathan and Patricia Burnside. She will attend New Mexico State University in the fall where she will major in English. Burnside chose Christine Engelbrecht as her Educator of Distinction. Burnside wrote, “Because of the invaluable voice that Ms. Engelbrecht helped me find, I plan on dedicating my life to students who have not found their own voices.”
Duncan Fuehne is the son of David Fuehne and Holly Trellue. He plans to study Engineering and Physics at Colorado School of Mines. Fuehne chose his 5th grade teacher Jenny Diesburg-Lathrop as his Educator of Distinction. He wrote, “I carried the encouragement I received as her fifth-grade student with me throughout all of my middle school and high school years which motivated me to push myself to become the best athlete, scholar, and person that I could be.”
Israel Gellis is the son of Ed and Krista Gellis. He will attend Arizona State University in the fall where he plans to study Business Administration. Gellis chose his English teacher Ildiko Nadaskay-Goeller as his Educator of Distinction. He wrote in his essay, “Since taking Ms. Nadaskay’s class, I have become a much better writer and reader, as well as a better student. Ms. Nadaskay is, without a doubt, the best teacher I have ever had.”
Morgan Jones is the daughter of Daren and Michelle Jones. She will attend New Mexico State University where she will major in Business Administration. Jones chose as her Educator of Distinction Lori Thompson. About Thompson she said, “Throughout my time at Los Alamos High School, Mrs. Thompson has been someone I could rely on for support, advice, and teachings; without her I would not be the person I am today.”
Javier McTeague-Vasquez is the son of Jose Vasquez and Jolyn McTeigue. He will attend Wheaton College where he will major in Computer Science and Cybersecurity. McTeague-Vasquez also selected Margo Batha as his Educator of Distinction. In his essay he wrote, “From competing at rigorous [speech and debate] tournaments around the country to learning about the importance of time management and schoolwork, I have had the opportunity to excel in high school and to be the best student and team member that I can be because of Mrs. Batha.” (Also pictured, Leah Wolfsberg)
Elyse Phillips is the daughter of David and Edie May Phillips. She will attend Northern Arizona University in the fall where she plans to major in Biomedical Sciences. She nominated her 4th grade teacher Carissa Pittman, who helped Phillips through her transition back to Los Alamos after living abroad for two years. She said, “Mrs. Pittman taught me to take time to persevere through problems and appreciate all aspects of myself. By the end of that year, I was a completely different girl than the shy and frightened new kid.”
Catherine Rousculp is the daughter of Chris and Susannah Rousculp. She plans to study Biology at the University of Utah in the fall. Rousculp named Stephanie Mitchell as her Educator of Distinction. About Mitchell she wrote, “Mrs. Mitchell has made the challenging subject of Biology enthralling for me, taught me the importance of curiosity and discovery, and helped me gain the confidence to make mistakes and speak up.”
Andrea Simons is the daughter of Wayne and DeAnna Simons. She will attend Utah Valley University in the fall. Simons named Zeynep Unal as her Educator of Distinction, Unal was Andrea’s 6th grade GATE teacher. In her essay Simons wrote, “She influenced me in so many positive ways, taught me to persevere, and gave me a renewed thirst for knowledge that I never would have had without her.”
Elodie Thelliez is the daughter of Thierry Thelliez and Cheryl Bell. She will study International Affairs at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Thelliez selected Lynn Ovaska as her Educator of Distinction. She wrote, “I cannot express the joy of learning and excitement for knowledge that she incites in me. Thanks to Mrs. O, I have found a passion [for psychology] that excites me both inside and outside of the classroom.”
Genevieve Triplett is the daughter of Richard and Laurie Triplett. She will study Biochemical Engineering at Colorado State University. She chose to write about her German teacher Elizabeth Bates as her Educator of Distinction. Triplett wrote, “My love of learning German would likely not have been so significant if I didn’t have such a great teacher. Frau Bates has instilled in me a love of language learning that I never thought to be possible.”
Leah Wolfsberg is the daughter of Andrew and Laura Wolfsberg. She plans to attend Colorado State University in the fall where she will study Biochemical Engineering. Wolfsberg was selected among this already impressive group of students as the most meritorious recipient, and she was awarded with the Rynd Award. The award is made possible by a large bequest left to the Foundation by Ed and Betty Rynd, a couple with a passion for community service and our schools. Wolfsberg chose Margo Batha as her Educator of Distinction. About Batha she wrote, “She taught me English, yes, but she also showed me the importance of student activism and made me a more grounded person. Mrs. Batha is an educator of distinction because she teaches so much more than just the textbook. She is constantly demonstrating how much we can do for this world, how much our voices matter, and she is always there to show her support for the effort that her students make.” (Also pictured, Javier McTeague-Vasquez)
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:
This scholarship is named for Larry Baca, 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. He was a tremendous athlete at LAHS participating in baseball, basketball, wrestling, football and track. A role model to youth in our community, Baca’s humility, determination and sportsmanship enabled his track teams to achieve numerous district and state track titles. This year there were two winners, Elijah Velasquez and Marin Kelly.
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 2019 George and Joan Bjarke Scholarship was awarded to Israel Gellis, Morgan Jones and Emmeline Segler (not pictured).
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. Tianna McNiel-White and Meghan Romero are the winners of the 2019 Irene Boone Memorial Scholarship.
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 2019 Jim Sims Memorial Engineering Scholarship has been awarded to Jonathan Doorn, Aaron Lauritzen and Leah Wolfsberg (shown here 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. This year the scholarship was awarded to Anna Lemke for her review of the book An Unseen Angel: A Mother’s Story of Faith, Hope and Healing After Sandy Hook by Alissa Parker.
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 2019 winners are Joseph Sarrao and Javier McTeigue-Vasquez.