Sandia Prep - 532 Magazine - Fall 2016


532osuna road

A magazine for the Sandia Prep Community

Fall 2016

Going Global

50 Years of Prep Students

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Prep Profiles

Alumnus: Nate Rogers '05

Student: Amali Gordon-Buxbaum '17

Faculty: John Suding

Alumni Wrap-Up

Reunions, Meet & Greets,

& Much More!

532osuna road




532 refers to the school’s physical address - and the sense

of place felt by all who come here. The 532 staff welcomes

you to our school magazine, published for alumni, parents,

students, friends, and the entire Sandia Prep community.

We hope you enjoy the magazine.

Our Mission: The joy of learning and living is at the center

of all we do. Sandia Preparatory School provides remarkable

opportunities for intellectual and personal growth within a

challenging and balanced program. As an extension of our

families, Sandia Prep’s diverse community inspires students

to find their academic focus, talents and creativity.

Our Vision: At Sandia Prep, we will inspire our students to

discover their purposes in the world by:

• Developing essential skills and intellectual potential

through challenging academics;

• Cultivating a socially responsible environment of

innovation and creativity; and

• Engaging as a vibrant community for the betterment of


Our Five A’s: To foster growth toward human as

well as academic excellence, Sandia Prep seeks

to create balance among the Five A’s:

Academics • Arts • Athletics • Activities • Atmosphere

Sandia Prep’s logo represents our balanced philosophy and

program. Our Five A’s converge to form an integrated whole

with the student at the center, reflecting the comprehensive,

well-rounded education that Sandia Prep students receive.



An International Perspective

Since it opened 50 years ago, Sandia Prep has

stressed the importance of being a productive

member of not only the local community,

but the global community as well. Through

classes, clubs and organizations, travel, and

community service Prep has educated and

inspired students to find and achieve his or her

purpose in the world.

On the Cover

Sandia Prep sponsored trips have been a

mainstay at the School for much of its fifty

year history. Featured on the cover are Prep

students embarking on a Ghana safari in 2011.

11 13





Alumni News


Prep Around the Web


Alumni Profile: Nate Rogers '05



From the Head of School

Alumni Notes


Student Profile: Amali Gordon-Buxbaum '17


From the Archive


Faculty Profile: John Suding


Student 411


Prep International



Faculty Wall

SPS Briefs


Class of 2016 Commencement Recap


Smart Giving


Sundevil Sports

Visit us online

Sandia Preparatory School





532osuna road

is published twice a year by

Sandia Preparatory School, an independent

co-ed school with a nationally recognized

college preparatory program for

students in grades 6 through 12.


Bill Sinfield - Head of School

Joyce Whelchel - Assistant Head for Student Life

Cheryl McMillan - Assistant Head for Academics

Julie Cook - Director of Development

Jenny Davidson - Director of Information Technology

Laura Fitzpatrick - Director of Admission

Melissa Morse - Director of College Counseling

Melissa Jo Stroud - Director of Marketing &


Managing Editor - Melissa Jo Stroud

Designer/Editor - Alexis Magaña-Jaggli


Melissa Besante Dineen ’97

Julie Cook

Pete MacFarlane

Matthew Nair '17

Ryann Rael '17

Patricia Gabbett Snow

John Suding

Susan Walton ’72

Sandia Preparatory School

532 Osuna Rd NE • Albuquerque, NM 87113

505.338.3000 phone • 505.338.3099 fax •

This issue of 532 is printed on paper

containing 55% recycled/

30% post-consumer content.

Once you have enjoyed this issue,

please recycle.

3 532Fall 2016

the new magazine. I want to hear

about...I find the new sections...Can you

have a place for...Where is Prep Post?



photos are great. I get to stay in

touch with fellow alumni. The students


doing such amazing things at



You should

WEBwrite a story about...

Proud to be a Sundevil. Go Unicorns!

We love hearing from

Go Lions! Celebrating the Five A's of

the Prep community

Sandia on social Preparatory media. School. Academics,

"At the end of each year in

Athletics, Arts, Activities, middle and school, Atmosphere.

each grade

goes on a trip (in addition

The joy of learning and living is at the

the beginning of the year

center of all we do. Sandia trip). High Preparatory

schoolers that

are part of the OLP lead

School provides remarkable opportunities

the program. Faculty

for intellectual and personal members and about 40 growth

parents go along. The

within a challenging and balanced

OLP Camping Associates

program. As an extension of took groups our shopping families, for T

food on Monday for the

o provide remarkable



(with a budget).

"SPS was great in '78

for personal growth, and

They will


be responsible

now I wonder: Keen in


for making their own

'17? A pride of Lions,

each student's passions, food, etc. This year's talents,


a blessing of Unicorns -

is the Great Sand Dunes

creativity what do you and call a group intellectual development,

National Monument. They

of Sundevils? A flash?

Sandia Our Five A's converge go caving and to El Mapais to form

A burst? Not to go on

next year I think. It's a

an integrated naming, but I wonder..." whole, reflecting the

really awesome program."

- Ethan Hay '78

comprehensive, well-rounded - Rhonda Cork education


that Sandia Prep students receive. 10

Things We Believe: Educating is not a

job; it is a calling. Education is about

the students. Their needs always come

first. The measure “Hunting of for our some family success photos for my is how

Aunt and found this treasure! High School

we treat our most challenged student

Graduation 1984 from Sandia Prep.”

on his or her most - Dianna challenging Leslie Morey ’84 day.

Prep seeks to create balance among

the Five A's: Academics, Athletics,

Arts, Atmosphere, and Activities.


Head of School

This year marks Sandia Preparatory School’s 50th Anniversary.

I’m sure you knew that because we try to remind you on every

occasion, on every piece of letterhead, and on the many signs that

hang throughout the campus. But it’s important; it’s a tremendous

milestone in the history of school. We’re a half of a century old!

So, where were you in 1966 when the first small group of young

pioneering ladies anxiously stepped onto this campus? A half a

century ago, America looked a lot different. Lyndon B. Johnson

was in the Oval Office; The Beach Boys and Bob Dylan were the

top selling musical acts; "Bonanza" and "The Red Skelton Show" dominated the TV ratings;

Jacqueline Susann’s novel, " Valley of the Dolls" topped the New York Times’ Best Seller

list; and Captain Kirk introduced the world to the ridiculous concept of a flip-phone. The

average cost of a new home was $24,000, a gallon of gas was $0.32, a haircut was two

bucks, and a bottle of water… well, you couldn’t buy a bottle of water. 1966 also saw the

USA’s growing involvement in the war in Vietnam (Perhaps there are some reading this that

were then serving their country in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Thank you for your service.)

Here in Albuquerque, Ralph Trigg began his tenor as Chairman of the City Commission (i.e.,

Mayor), Popejoy Hall hosted its first concert (The Utah Symphony Orchestra); the Sandia

Peak Tramway brought its first customers to the summit of the mountain; and Sandía School

welcomed its first class of girls to the campus.

When those seventy eight young ladies first arrived on our campus, our founders must have

felt an incredible sense of pride and satisfaction. They had worked so hard to get the school

off the ground, and they invested their time, talents, and treasures to plant the seeds of

our success. That first Board of Trustees included some of the most prominent and socially

involved citizens of Albuquerque, and it was presided over by Barbara Young Simms, a

tenacious and determined woman who had been working on this “project” and gathering

support for the school since 1958. The Board hired Reverend Paul Saunders as the founding

Headmaster, and he was the perfect person for the job. He was a man who had a great deal

of experience in building institutions.

There have been many changes to school over the past 50 years, both in terms of the

campus and the programs, and there have many great administrators and faculty who have

moved the school forward and ensured its relevance. What hasn’t changed, however, is

the spirit of those who brought this school to life and the values that are the core of this

community. We do well to remember this. The decisions we make today and tomorrow

must be directed by our mission and tempered by those values. In fifty years, what will the

future generations be saying about us?

The First Sandía School

Board of Trustees

General Kenner Hertford,


Mrs. Albert Simms II

(Barbara Young Simms),

President of the Board

Mrs. Edward Gladden

(Phyllis Boyd Gladden),

Secretary of the Board

Mr. Cale Carson, Treasurer

Mr. John Eastham

Mr. Max Linn

Mr. Frank Maple

Mrs. Albert Mitchell

(Natalie Galbraith Mitchell)

Mrs. Ben Roberts

(Nancy Anderson Roberts)

Mrs. Thomas Ryan

(Ellen Ann Lembke Ryan)

Dr. Randolph Seligman

Mrs. George Schreiber

(Mary Cook Schrieber)

Mrs. William F. Whitfield

(Sue Trammell Whitfield)

Mr. Paul Saunders,


Bill Sinfield

Head of School

532Fall 2016 4

Alumni NEWS




2 16






• Outdoor Leadership Program Reunion

• 50th Anniversary Dedication & Campus Tours

• Alumni Family Picnic - Sponsored by Papa Murphy's Pizza - Parker Willis '21

Family; La Cumbre Brewing Co. - Laura Christopher '96 Erway Family;

the Volkman (Avery '96 and Sage '99) Family

• Thomas Ebel Alumni Soccer Games - Sponsored by Michael '88

& Kiersten (Whitesel) Stockham '91

Sandia Prep Alumnae Volleyball Game

• Alumni Basketball Game

• Children’s Soccer, Basketball & Volleyball Clinics

• Live music by Chris Downey's '91 band, The Boondoggles

• 1991 & 2006 Class Reunions





Saturday, November 12 • 6pm - 8pm

12017 Shirestone Lane, Dallas, TX 75244

Questions? RSVP?

ABQ Meet & Greet

February 11, 2016

L.A. Meet & Greet

March 24, 2016

San Francisco

Meet & Greet

February 26, 2016

Hello Alumni,

My name is Brandon

Saylor '03, and I am the

new President of the

Alumni Association for

Sandia Prep. I graduated

Prep in 2003 and then

went on to get my

bachelors degree at the University of Colorado

at Boulder. I am currently living in Albuquerque,

working as a broker for Colliers International, a

commercial real estate brokerage firm.

My three years at Prep were some of the finest

years in my life. I want to make sure the school that

provided so much for me continues to give to future

generations. Alumni participation plays a key role

in ensuring preservation of the school's values and

principles that made this learning institution so great.

Not only am I the President of the Alumni

Association, but I am also on the Board of Trustees

and have participated in numerous fundraising

events for the school. I feel it is the least I can do to

give back. 2016 marks 50 years of success for the

school, and it is an extraordinary time to be a part of

this organization. My hope is for the generations of

alumni before me, and after me, to come together to

write the next 50 years of success for the school. Let’s

make this happen!


Induction Breakfast


Meet & Greet

June 16, 2016

May 20, 2016

A special thanks to the Gretchen Heath Keller '00

family for hosting such a fun evening!

On behalf of the Sandia

Preparatory School Alumni

Association, please help us

thank Lydia (Jones) Pizzonia

'99 for serving as our Alumni

Association President from


During her term, Lydia

worked with Sandia Prep's

Board of Trustees on numerous campus initiatives,

helped increase alumni participation in the School's

Annual Fund, and led our annual Alumni Weekend

planning committee, further establishing a strong

connection between current Prep families and our

alumni community.

After helping her husband, Justin, with his law

practice, Pizzonia Law, LLC, for several years, Lydia is

joining the University of New Mexico's School of Law.

Lydia and Justin live in Albuquerque with their three

beautiful children: Kylie '21, Reed, 7 and Michael, 5.

532Fall 2016 6



Anita (Miller)

Summers '75

shared this photo

on our Sandia

Prep Alumni



page. She said,

"Had dinner

with Elizabeth

(Wood) Reynertson '72 last night. Hadn't

seen each other in over 30 years!"

WANTED: '77 & '87 Reunion Reps

We're looking for Class of 1977 and

Class of 1987 volunteers to help plan

reunions. Your SPS Alumni Affairs Office

is committed to making the process as

simple as possible and is available to

help in a variety of ways. To learn more,



In April, Sundevils

Brother Thomas

Bushnell '85, Jay

Kory Johnson

'06 and Kristen

(McKee) Johnson

'06 attended Easter

services together

in Glendale,

Calif. Brother

Thomas is a

software engineer

with Google. Alumni couple Kristen and

Jay married while they were in college,

and are now working together at The

Episcopal School of Los Angeles. Kristen

is the Business Manager and Director

of Operations and Jay is the Dean of

Curriculum and Teacher in Music.


Russell Grubbs

'92 married


Huntsman on

July 24, 2016 in

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Raúl Torrez

'95 is the








Raúl is a former federal prosecutor and

was a senior advisor in President Obama's

Department of Justice when he was

selected to be a White House Fellow. After

graduating from Sandia Prep, Raul received

his undergraduate degree from Harvard

University, a master's degree from the

London School of Economics, and has his

law degree from Stanford University.

Charley Michelle

(Lowe) Baruth

'97 married Jack

Baruth at the

Valley of Fire near

Las Vegas, NV on

April 17, 2016.

The family lives in

Columbus, Ohio,

where Charley

telecommutes for Fidelity Investments.

We appreciate our

Class Reunion liaisons!

Jillian Gonzales '91

Heather Townsend '91

Class of '96 & '97 Reunion

Dana Blaugrund Carroll ’97 and

Michael Beinenson ’97 are

planning a joint class reunion.

To learn more, please email


In June, Jamie


Rayne '98 was

named one of



First's "40

Under Forty."

In December

2015, she

was elected

President of the Home Builders

Association of Central New Mexico;

becoming only the second woman and

youngest individual to be in this position.

Dr. Emily Bowlin '98 and Eric Wolters

welcomed daughter Mackenzie Kai

Wolters into the world July 14, 2016.

In late July, Amanda Riggs '99 published

Working in the Middle East: An American

Woman's Story. The Sundevil has a bachelor's

degree in political science and global studies

from the University of Minnesota and a

master of public administration from George

Washington University.

’00s In June, Courtney


'04 completed

her emergency


residency at the

University of

New Mexico.

She celebrated

with a trip to see

her sister Cassie

Lapham-Simpson '02 in New Zealand.

Cassie moved to Gore in June 2015 to

further pursue her career as a veterinarian.

Courtney is working at the University of

New Mexico as a junior faculty member.

In April, Ali


'01 released


Six Powerful




and How to Use Them to Lower Taxes.

Within 24 hours, the eBook was on

Amazon's bestseller list. Ali has a

bachelor’s degree in mathematics and

computer science, as well as a master’s

degree in business administration

with an emphasis in finance from

the University of San Diego. Ali also

has a degree in personal financial

planning from UCLA and a designation

as a Certified Financial Planner

practitioner. Ali owns Kinetic Financial.

Ross Cavin '02

and his wife

Erin Ness Cavin



Brechin Ness

into the world

May 4, 2016.

The family lives

in Amsterdam where Ross works with the

advertising agency, Anomaly.

Scotti Russell

Sheehy '02 and her

husband, Bobby

welcomed their

son, Charlie into

their family in May.

Charlie joins big

sister Jordan, age 2.

Robert Hursig

'04 married

Berna Urioste on

June 18, 2016 in

Albuquerque. Robert

has a master's

degree in electrical

engineering from

California Polytechnic State University

and is currently working at Sandia

National Laboratories.

We appreciate our

Class Reunion liaisons!

Audra Gentry '06

Kyle T. Cowan

'07 plays the

role of "Pa" in

season one of

Preacher on

AMC. He also

plays a role in

the upcoming

film War On

Everyone, set to be released in the fall.

His book Sunshine is Forever is now

available for preorder on

In May, Jo Anna Phillips ’07 graduated

with her master's degree in rhetoric

and writing from the University of New

Mexico. She will continue to teach at

UNM in the Core Writing department as

well as begin an adjunct professorship at

CNM, all while pursuing her doctorate,

also in rhetoric and composition.

Class of '07 Reunion

Dani Castioni '07 is planning

your 10-year reunion.

To learn more, please email


Brassington '08

graduated from


University in

2012 and has

worked at PwC

in Los Angeles

and Dallas. In February, Kate accepted a

position as a senior tax consultant with

Ernst and Young in London.


Groves '08 is an


specialist with

tech startup,

Stellar, a digital

marketplace for

private aviation in

Palo Alto, Calif.

Chase McCall

'08 is serving

as an intern for

Michelle Lujan-

Grisham, a U.S.


for New

Mexico's 1st


District. His

duties include meeting with constituents

to pass along their thoughts to the

Congresswoman; attending hearings and

briefings to take notes and summarize

current legislation; as well as leading

guided tours of the Capitol Building.

In Remembrance

Betsy Blueher Truby '73

Terry Dean '71

Lindsay Harper Makepeace

Jason Wiesner '12

532Fall 2016 8

Alumni NOTES



Madeline Hunter

’10 is an Event

Coordinator with

Beth Helmstetter

Events in Los

Angeles, Calif.

The wedding and

design company is

on Martha Stewart’s

list for top planners in the nation and

Destination Weddings & Honeymoon’s

A-List for top destination wedding planners

in the world. Maddie has a bachelor of

business administration in marketing from

Loyola Marymount University.

Richard Abraham

’11 graduated from

Stanford University

in June with a

master's degree in


Richard has a

bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering

from the University of New Mexico.

Catee (Abney)

Torrez ’11

married Brandon

Torrez in

July. Several

Sundevils were

in attendance

at the wedding,


Jasmine Shubert '11, Noelle (Torrez)

Likovic '07, and JoAnna Phillips '07.

Catee works for Presbyterian Health

Services as a Business System Analyst,

and Brandon is co-owner of his family’s

restaurant Julian's Burgers n More.

Hannah O'Hern ’12 graduated from the

University of Tulsa. She works for the

start-up Magpie Products LLC which

designs, builds, tests, and delivers

dozens of different student engineering

projects to help persons with disabilities.

Kelsea Cronin '12 is this coming year's

recipient of the University of Arizona's

Harrison H. Barrett Graduate Student

Scholarship in Optical Sciences and

Medical Imaging. In May, Kelsea

graduated from New Mexico Tech

with bachelor's degree in electrical

engineering with highest honors. She

received the Electrical Engineering

Department's Outstanding Senior Award.

Heather McKechnie ’12, a student at

the University of Aberdeen, is an active

member of a highly competitive rowing

club. In March, Heather was featured

in an Albuquerque Journal article. She

attends the University in Aberdeen

where she is working toward a degree

in biomedical science. In July, Heather

moved to Germany for a year-long

internship at a research laboratory.

In May Brad

Silling ’12

graduated cum

laude from

the University

of Southern

California in

Los Angeles,

Calif. with his

focus in architecture. Brad will attend

Harvard University to complete his

studies in architecture at the Graduate

School of Design. Celeste Silling ’12

graduated from Lawrence University in

Appleton, WI, with a focus in biology,

botany, and art. Celeste is in the process

of applying to graduate school.


Henry Torres

’13 married

Dominic Torres

in June in

Tijeras, NM.

Leah Henry

(former Sundevil) and Christina Pacheco

’13 were two of Sydney’s four attendants.

In May, Samuel Albert ’14, a University of

New Mexico's School of Architecture &

Planning student, had his work featured as

part of a student exhibit at the Rail Yards

Market in Albuquerque.

Grayson Reeves ’15

recently completed

his first year as a 4th

Class cadet at the

United States Air

Force Academy in

Colorado Springs.

Grayson is majoring

in aeronautical

engineering. This

summer Grayson completed both survival

and parachuting training.

In June, Delaney

Heileman ’16

received the Girl

Scouts of America’s

Gold Award.

The ceremony

took place at

the Governor’s

Mansion in Santa Fe and had alumna

Monique Mayer Jacobson ’96 as the

keynote speaker. Monique is the CYFD

Cabinet Secretary of New Mexico.

In June,

Juhee Patel

’16 received

a $15,000


from the

New Mexico



(NMLI). For the past two summers,

Juhee participated in the NMLI

Challenges, which included a

community service project, an

internship, and "a commitment

to attend UNM or NMSU upon

completion." She is currently in the BA/

MD program at UNM.




A Global Perspective


From its start Sandia Prep has

held a well-rounded education

as a cornerstone. Ensuring

global awareness is a critical

component. Prep's global

methods include foreign

exchange students and foreign

faculty members, schoolorganized

travel abroad, direct

school-to-school exchanges,

community service travel, clubs

such as Model UN, and the

Senior Experience program.

1. A small group of students visit Bhutan

in 2010 as one of the early visits of

outsiders allowed by the government.



2. Foreign exchange teacher Shuren

Dong helps in the library in spring 1990.

3. SPS students work, study, and travel in

Costa Rica with science teachers Chuck

Buxbaum and Helen Haskell in 2008.

4. In 2008 Author Vali Nasr speaks to

students about the Middle East. (Pictured

with Carla Tidwell and Paul Ryder.)


5. The 2010 Model United Nations team,

represents two countries, the Islamic

Republic and Republic of India.

Susan Walton '72

Parent Relations, Archives, & Activities



Nate Rogers '05

Rogers near the Prague Tower.

11 532Fall 2016


lumnus Nate Rogers ‘05 spends his days playing cat

and mouse with cyber criminals in his work as a

Director of Security Research at a technical company

in Baltimore. The ever-changing task of finding and stopping

cyber attackers suits him perfectly. “Staying ahead of the ‘bad

guys’ is a never-ending challenge that is both captivating and

intellectually stimulating. Though sometimes it can be difficult

to stay ahead, I enjoy the challenge.”

His work in Information Security at CyberPoint International

includes threat intelligence, malware analysis, vulnerability

discovery, reverse engineering, and penetration testing. Rogers

oversees research conducted by the firm’s Security Research

Team that spans both commercial and federal sectors.

Rogers’ interest in Computer Science/Cyber security began

at Prep, which he attended for grades 6-12. Classes in precalculus,

calculus, and physics “helped introduce me not only

to the technical content, but also the time management and

the discipline required to study and pass technical courses

later in my academic career.”

An Albuquerque native, Rogers did undergraduate work at

Berkeley before earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the

University of California, Irvine. He will graduate in December

from NYU Poly with a Master of Science in Cyber security.

He worked as a developer at Intel in Rio Rancho in 2007 and

as a researcher for a digital security firm in Irvine, California

from 2008-2010 before joining CyberPoint International.

From 2012-2016, Rogers was deployed as a U.S. government

contractor to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. That

experience allowed Rogers and his wife, Lindsay Smith, to

explore their passion for travel. “During our time in the Middle

East my wife and I were very fortunate to be able to travel to

many different countries that would otherwise be inaccessible

to us while living in the U.S.”

break/circumvent it.” Just as law enforcement officers work

to prevent crime, not simply respond to it, Rogers and his

team try to beat cyber attackers to the punch in discovering

software vulnerabilities. “Even after nearly 10 years in the field,

I continue to be fascinated and captivated by the cleverness

and ingenuity of both attackers and info sec professionals that

defend against them.”

Both at Prep and in college, Rogers was a multi-time All

American swimmer. Rogers said he was more focused on

swimming than school work while attending Prep. But the Lion

has plenty of fond memories, including from non-technical

classes that he didn’t know would have an impact on his

career. “I will always remember and value my history classes

with Mrs. Moses. Mrs. Moses would always challenge us to

defend our own opinions and never let us settle for ‘good

enough,’ a skill that will always be valuable throughout my

professional and academic career.” Other favorite experiences

were trips with Mr. Hanley as part of the Outdoor Leadership


Rogers said he’s been interested in his career field for as long

as he can remember. And while he had many influential

classes and teachers during his time at Prep, the one most

relevant to his career was C++ programming with Mr.

Arsenault. “It was a very small class where he was able

to focus on each student and really give us one-on-one


The couple had a horrifying brush with terrorism in March

2016. They were wrapping up a long weekend getaway in

Belgium, waiting in an airport ticket line to catch a return

flight to Abu Dhabi, when back-to-back bomb explosions

rocked the terminal building. At least 11 people were killed

and hundreds injured in the terrorist attack. “We were just

lucky and fortunate to be able to walk away,” Rogers told the

Albuquerque Journal at the time.

Rogers’ security team’s research recently was accepted at

Ruxcon, a technical conference in Melbourne, Australia. At

the conference in October, Rogers gave a speech in which he

disclosed “new, never before seen cyber security techniques

for both malware detection and penetration testing.” He also

recently received his first patent for his research on malware

analysis as part of a CyberPoint team.

Though he described himself as a “mediocre at best” student

while at Prep, Rogers said learning is his passion. “I am one

of the few, lucky people in life that absolutely LOVES what

I do for a living. A career in Info Sec means that every day I

need to learn something new and try to figure out a way to

Rogers and his wife, Lindsay

When he’s not working, Rogers still enjoys swimming for

fitness. He and his wife enjoy running races all over the United

States and the world. In 2014, they ran a marathon in Athens,

Greece. They share their home with two cats, Banksy and

Fiona. Rogers said he remains closes with a few of his former

Prep classmates. His brother, Jack Rogers, graduated from Prep

in ’07, and their parents still live near campus. “It’s hard to

believe how different it looks now than from when I graduated.

It’s great to see all the new buildings and athletic fields.”

- Patricia Gabbett Snow





Gordon-Buxbaum '17

Gordon-Buxbaum visits an organic

farm during her trip to Cuba.

13 532Fall 2016

Amali Gordon-Buxbaum ‘17 has broken bread with

protesters in Cuba, swum with elephants in Thailand,

and gone past “the point of no return” in Benin, all

before graduating high school. Although her time at Sandia

Prep has been both transformative and edifying, Amali’s travels

abroad have influenced her in a way no classroom lesson

could. Her remarkable experiences have gifted her with a

unique approach to life that has helped her excel inside and

outside of the classroom. Now, armed with a superlative

education and the knowledge of a seasoned explorer, Amali is

ready to take on the world.

Born in Albuquerque, Amali always knew her path would

lead her through Prep. Her father, Chuck Buxbaum, has

taught Biology and Environmental Science here for almost 20

years, and her older sister graduated from the school in 2015.

Although she has strong connections to Prep, her family isn’t

the only reason she chose to attend school here.

“I can’t lie that a large part of it was that my sister and my

dad were already there, but I also really connected with

the kids that I met on my buddy day, and I could tell that

the atmosphere was something I would really enjoy,” she


In her six years at Prep, Amali has taken advantage of nearly

every opportunity the school has offered. She is currently

an Editor-in-Chief of the Sandia Prep Times, a guitarist in the

school’s jazz band, a participant in Model UN, a member

of the Student Government Association, a member of the

National Honor Society, and an avid flamenco dancer outside

of school. Although she has many commitments outside of the

classroom, Amali always makes sure to prioritize learning; she

was the recipient last year of the prestigious Bausch and Lomb

Honorary Science Award from Rochester University in New

York, which recognized her excellence in science.

Amali credits the academics and extracurricular activities at

Prep with shaping her into whom she is today.

“I think by allowing me to explore my interests, Prep has

definitely helped me decide where I dream of going in life,”

she said. “It has also helped me to (become) a leader, whether

that’s a leader of the newspaper staff or of the entire student


In seventh grade, when Amali’s parents told her the family was

moving to Hanoi, Vietnam, for a year, she was sad to leave her

school, but also excited for the new adventure. While living

in Vietnam, she attended Hanoi International School, where

her entire grade was made up of only 20 people. There, Amali

became close friends with students from Denmark, Egypt,

Finland, the Czech Republic, and Germany. With her school,

she traveled around Vietnam and visited many small villages,

learning about the country’s geography and demographics. She

also learned how to play a traditional Vietnamese instrument,

the T'rung, which is a bamboo xylophone.

Although an experience like this may come only once in a

lifetime for most people, Amali’s time spent in Vietnam is

just one of many adventures she has had. Amali has been

to Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Egypt, Israel, Ecuador, the

Galapagos, Thailand, Laos, and Benin, a trip she especially


Gordon-Buxbaum with her host sisters at

the beach in Cotonou, Benin.

“I think my favorite

(trip) would have

to be the one I took

to Benin,” she said.

“The main reason

behind going was

for me to have an

opportunity to speak

French outside

of French class.

And it was really

convenient because

my parents have long-time friends who are from Benin but

currently live in Canada, so I stayed with their relatives. I

learned so much not only about the French language but about

African art and their culture.”

Amali’s travels have embedded in her a passion for activism

first introduced by her parents. She has fond memories of

attending demonstrations with her mother and father from

as early as the age of eight. In her travels, she has seen great

injustices which she believes warrant protest. She still recalls

her shock upon learning of the deaths that continue to happen

in Laos due to unexploded bombs littered around the country.

Instead of standing by, watching these inequities occur, Amali

has decided to take action. She currently interns at a radio

station called Generation Justice, which focuses on youth

leadership in social justice issues. She plans to continue

participating in social justice and activism groups in college

and beyond.

As a senior, Amali often finds herself thinking about her future.

She is excited for college and is currently awaiting a response

from her first-choice college, Northwestern University. She

plans to study journalism, which combines her interest in

people with her interest in current events, and she also hopes

to continue studying music.

Her dream job is working for the New Yorker magazine to

which she has had a subscription for years. She enjoys how

detailed their articles and profiles are and believes they “really

take journalism to the next level of almost storytelling.”

Amali knows that with her experience and education anything

is possible.

“I have gotten a lot of insight from all the places I've gone to,

which could make the transition into a bigger, more diverse

community smoother,” she said. “All those perspectives and

all that insight will help me make decisions on how I want to

shape the things that I do.”

- Matthew Nair '17




John Suding

15 532Fall 2016

Suding's 2013 advisory show off

their presents after a "Holiday

Socks Gift Exchange".

Science department chair John Suding has dedicated

his life to producing top notch students around the


changing from communism and marshal law into a free-market

economy, and there was a lot of optimism.”

Born in Indianapolis, Suding earned a bachelor's degree in

physics with a minor in math from Butler University, as well

as a master's degree from Purdue University in education

with a focus in math and science. For the next 20 years

Suding and his wife did their two favorite things: traveling and


Suding has taught physics and calculus at four different

international schools. Each one was a unique experience. His

favorite was an international school in Tokyo, Japan. It was a

Catholic girl’s school started by Spanish nuns after World War

II. On top of physics and math, one of Suding’s jobs was to

be a punching bag. “They had a self defense class, and they

needed someone to attack the girls so they could practice their

self defense, and that was me. So they threw me around.”

It certainly wasn't easy, but his previous experience as a

wrestling coach in Belgium helped. Suding has taught at the

international school in Brussels, Belgium, three different times.

The first time was before he had children, once when his

children were very young, and once when his children were in

middle school. Suding has a son and two daughters whom he

taught during the family's time abroad.

Suding on a Yugoslavian freighter en route to

Casablanca, Morocco, in 1978. From there, he and

his family drove through Europe to begin teaching

at the International School of Brussels.

After leaving Brussels, the Suding family moved to an

international school in Caracas, Venezuela. Tokyo may be

his favorite place, but he said the kids in Venezuela could

have been his favorite kids to teach. “They enjoyed life, but

they worked really hard. Every day at lunch they would bring

out boom boxes and put them in the hallway and dance the

entire period.” However, Suding heard stories of petty crime

involving high schoolers. Not wanting to put his son in that

situation, the family moved.

The fourth and final international school at which Suding

taught was in Warsaw, Poland. He spent four years there, then

spent a year in Chicago, then returned to Poland for another

three years. “It was very interesting because it was just

While teaching at Seisen International School,

the Suding family visits a Tokyo street festival in 1989.

His children grew up and moved away. His son is an engineer

for Rolls Royce in Tokyo, Japan, and he also works with

helicopters and jet engines. His daughter is a welder in

Portland, Oregon, and she builds the parts that her brother

sells to the Japanese. Suding’s other daughter is an art historian

in St. Petersburg, Florida. With three kids in such different

places, the Sudings picked a place somewhat in the middle.

His wife teaches at Escuela Del Sol Montessori School.

Suding had more than 30 years of teaching experience before

he came to Sandia Prep in the fall of 2002. While the students

at Prep don't dance in the hallways, Suding loves the school

for knowing its place in the world. “It doesn't try to be any

other prep school. It doesn't try to be a California school.

It understands that New Mexico is a special place and that

people have special interests here and it follows those, but also

gives a good education."

If Suding could take classes offered at Prep, physics and

calculus would be a given. He also would take the film history

class that was taught by Ron Briley as well as ceramics, photo,

and painting and drawing. “In high school I never took any art

and I wish I had an art department like they have here.”

In his time teaching, one of Suding’s favorite parts is seeing

his former students return, whether they're in their first year of

college or have finished their degrees. His teaching career is

highlighted by teaching his children. He taught all of them in

physics, but one year he taught his son in physics, calculus,

and coached him in baseball. Since Suding and his wife are

both teachers, they spend their summers traveling. They've

been to every state except Alaska, more than 60 countries,

and every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Of all the

places he’s traveled to, southern France is a favorite. Suding

picked up French during his travels and looks forward to

returning to France.

Suding has turned two passions into a lifetime of adventure

and won't be stopping any time soon.

- Ryann Rael '17






To be taught by a Sandia Prep teacher is to be taught by a lifelong learner.

Among Prep teachers are individuals who

have worked for the Associated Press, Reuters,

United Press International, engineering firms,

and museums. Some have owned their own

business, practiced law, served in the military

and as police officers and firefighters. The Prep

faculty boasts several published authors, awardwinning

musicians, professional performers,

and celebrated artists.

Faculty members have lived, studied, and

worked in all regions of the United States,

from East Coast to West Coast, Australia,

Brussels, Canada, China, Colombia, France,

Germany, Ghana, Japan, Kazakhstan,

Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Nepal, Poland,

Puerto Rico, Russia, Saudi Arabia,

Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom,

Venezuela, and Vietnam.

17 532Fall 2016




Global Curriculum


Spanish • French • Mandarin

Border Studies

6th Grade Culture & Geography

Global Studies Elective

Educational Travel

Sandia Prep sponsored educational

tours provide students with an incredible

opportunity to explore the world with

their peers, and with their teachers, who

serve as seasoned tour guides.

Bhutan • China • Costa Rica

Cuba • Ecuador • England


Model UN

France • Guatemala • Japan

Mexico • New York, NY • Nicaragua

Spain • Washington, DC

Spanish Model UN

World Language Alliance Organization

Global Connections

Senior Experience

Seniors may choose to travel to regions

of the U.S. or other countries to study

and complete their Senior Experience.

Global 1 to 1 Program

A pen pal project with African students, as

well as a global community service effort.

Humanitarian Service

Sandia Prep's humanitarian efforts

have included delivering

equipment to foreign schools

and providing aid to natural

disaster-stricken areas.

Bhutan • Dominican Republic

Guatemala • Haiti • Mexico

Travel Preparation Activity

Activity periods are used to prepare

for international travel, including

education and fundraising.

New Orleans, LA

532Fall 2016 18


This spring, Annelise

Wall ’20 took on the

role of Anne Frank

in The Diary of Anne

Frank with Albuquerque

Little Theatre.

Luke Bemish '21, competed in the

UNM-PNM Statewide Mathematics

Competition. Luke finished 2nd

for 7th grade students across New

Mexico, and he was in the top 20 of

all 6-12 grade students in the state.

Catherine Kelly '18 competed

this summer in the USA

Volleyball Girls Junior National

Championships in Indianapolis.

Cat and her team finished 13th

overall (in the entire country).


In February, Coach Willie

Owens was inducted into

the J.C. Harmon High School

Sports Hall of Fame. Inductees

are chosen based on athletic

success, character, academics,

and citizenship.

In April, students and faculty

honored long-time Prep educator

Ernest Polansky for his 50 years

of teaching. Along with touching

speeches made by his students

and fellow teachers, Mr. Polansky

was presented with a golden


Both Coach Tommy Smith and

Coach Paul Huitt celebrated

their 300th career wins.

50th Anniversary


As part of our ongoing 50th anniversary festivities, the Sandia

Prep Alumni Association is putting together a time capsule. In

addition to school memorabilia and era-related keepsakes, they

are collecting favorite memories from Prep community members.

If you’d like to participate, please email

The time capsule will be stowed away until Prep’s centennial

celebration in 2066.

A special thank you to the Walsh-Ruiz family (Monica ’98, Tim ’22

& Thomas) for creating this beautiful piece.

19 532Fall 2016


Mr. Claudio Perez and

his Spanish 5 students'

work “Border Doors

and the Unmasking of

the Zones of Meaning

Exhibit” were displayed

at UNM and the

National Hispanic

Cultural Center.

In February the 8th

grade class travelled

to the Roundhouse in

Santa Fe to sit in on a

session with the House

of Representatives and

met the Secretary of

State to learn more

about the process of

passing legislature.

During their

Spring Break,

students embarked on

Sandia Prep's first

trip to Cuba.

The School celebrated the

Chinese New Year with

a Tai Chi performance,

Lion Dance, Chinese

calligraphy, dumplingmaking,

tea ceremony,

and dragon parade.

50th Anniversary

History Wall unveiled

at Noche de Oro,

highlighting historic

Prep moments

and traditions.

Varsity Baseball Team

wins the 2016 New

Mexico Class 4A State


French classes

partook in a Mardi

Gras fête with a

parade along with

a French feast

complete with a

variety of Louisianastyle

King Cakes.

Sandia Prep held

its first home track

& field meet in the

newly renovated

Durán Family Track

and Soccer Stadium

in early March.

SPS Greendevils

hosted an Earth Day

celebration with the

4th Annual Giant

Spring Cleaning Swap.

Recycled artwork, an

electric car, and fresh

salads from the Prep

garden also made an


The 1st Annual

Captured Sparks Festival

featured student art, poetry,

music, film, and essays as

well as guest speakers John

Dennis Johnston (American

actor/producer) and Hakim

Bellamy (national and

regional Poetry

Slam Champion).


Join the iGive Campaign

Celebrate 50 Years

Founded in 1966 by Barbara Young Simms, Sandia Prep celebrates

its 50th Anniversary this year. The Annual Fund has had an emerging

presence in the growth and quality of education experienced over five


What is the Annual Fund?

The Annual Fund is Sandia Prep's yearly fundraising campaign to

secure philanthropic support for the operation of the school. Tuition

alone does not fully cover the true expense of instructional programs;

however, Sandia Prep is committed to keeping the cost of independent

education affordable and accessible for students and their families.

Planned Gifts Cast a Long Shadow

Planned gifts often have a long-term aspect to them in that the wealth

being transferred by donors in all likelihood took many years to amass.

It is often the way donors choose their gifts to have an enduring impact.

Become a member of the Simms Society by notifying the School of

your plans to name Sandia Prep the beneficiary of your insurance

policy, trust, retirement fund or annuity, or to leave a bequest to the


Contact Julie Cook, Director of Development, at 505.338.3022 or

21 532Fall 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016 • Hotel Albuquerque

Thank you to everyone who

came out to support Sandia Prep

at our 50th Anniversary kickoff,

Noche de Oro!

532Fall 2016 22



Spring 2016 Athletic Wrap-up

The 2016 Varsity Baseball Team concluded what, at the

beginning of the season, was a foregone conclusion (that

couldn’t be mentioned; baseball unspoken rules): repeating

as State Class 4A Champions. Led by Head Coach Paul

Huitt, Assistant Coach Steve Suiter, and Garrett Cleavall

'16, Marshall Grandjean '16, Sean Jarvis '16, Harris

McConnell '16, Mike Snow '16, Daniel Stell '16, and Beau

Williams '16, as well as Joe Martinez '17, the team went

27-4, losing only to four out-of-state teams. The past three

seasons the team compiled an 80-12 record against all

schools. In the championship game Joe Martinez led the

way with a two-hit shutout performance in the team’s 13-0


The Girls Track team, despite limited numbers, captured

the 3rd place trophy at the State Meet. Led by Kiersten

Huitt’s '16 third consecutive title in the 100 meter hurdles,

a runner-up for Morgan Crotta '17 in the pole vault (setting

a school record) of 10’3”and a 2nd place finish in the final

event of the day, 4 x 400 meter relay (that team consisting

of Skyler Gee '17, Mari Yepa '17, Kiersten Huitt '16,

and Sevilla Duran '20.) The team was coached by Janelle

Johnson, Stacey Price, Laverne Roberts, Victor del Frate,

David Levy, and Brad Winter. On the boys’ side, James

Martinek '19 set a new pole vault record of 11’3”.

Both the Boys JV and Girls JV Middle School Track teams

captured APIAL League titles. Josh Bennett '21 captured

the individual and team titles for the Middle School Golf

team. Skyler Gee '17 set middle school track records in the

200 meter (26.57) and 400 meter (59.33) dashes, as well

the 800 meter run (2:22.05).

Girls Tennis, coached by Jenny Davidson and Julie Cook,

captured the District 3A-AAAA tournament title, led by

district double champions Maddie Trainor '17 and Soren

Saunders '17. Boys Tennis, coached by Nick Morris, was

led by David Atkin '17 who finished 4th in the State meet.

Photo credit: Kaitlyn Glass '13

The Boys Lacrosse team came very close to capturing the

second State title of the spring in the championship game

at Balloon Fiesta Park, falling to nemesis Santa Fe Prep 3-2.

That team led by Alex Askenazy '16, Austin Davidson '16,

Brendon Gray '16, Alec Lamberty '16, Lucas Lujan '16,

Matt Manicke '16, Rahul Modi '16, Ian Moore '16, Lukas

Paul '16, and Octavio Perez '16, as well as goalie Ethan

Pratt '19, finished at 13-4 (3 losses to Santa Fe Prep and

one to Durango). Kevin Lopez and Tyler Gronseth were the


Softball, under first-year coaches Karah Williams and Ashley

Morelock, closed on a positive note, defeating Santa Fe

Indian School to capture 3rd place in the District. Megan

Einhorn '16, Skylar Nicholson '18, Jordan Perez '21, and

Danielle Roy '16 were instrumental in the team's success.

237 students participated in a spring sport. For the entire

year, 448 of 584 (76.7%) students participated on 53

teams in 21 sports. Of those athletes, 62 competed in three

seasons and earned the “Iron-Man” Award.

Pete MacFarlane

Athletic Director

23 532Fall 2016

2016 - 2017

Board of


Patrick Allen, Chair

Elizabeth Kirschner, Vice Chair

Todd Sandoval '91, Secretary

Lovie Bey

Shari Cordova

Susan (Przekurat) Epstein ‘91

Pete Henderson

Jerry Lovato

Jessica Eaves Mathews

April Camilli Marker ‘93

Lisa Mitchell

Lydia (Jones) Pizzonia ‘99

Brandon Saylor '03

Cisco Sedillo

Vahid Staples ’91

Liz Trainor

Giulia Urquhart

Patrick Westerfield

Todd White

Arren Buck '04

Courtney Giannini

Effy Hamon

Dan Kelly

Michel LaCavelier

Amanda Parker

Molly Rennie

Christina Salamone

Matthew Westerlund '03


New Prep





Download the

50th Anniversary sign at


and share on Instagram

with #WeAreSandiaPrep



25 532Fall 2016

532Fall 2016 26

Sandia Preparatory School

532 Osuna Rd NE

Albuquerque, NM 87113





Albuquerque, NM

Permit No. 215





Raffle tickets available December 2016

Proceeds benefit Sandia Prep’s Annual Fund


Special thanks to Sandia MINI •

Pictured vehicle is used for advertising purposes only. Winner will take home a 2017 hardtop MINICooper vehicle.

Winner is responsible to pay all applicable federal and state taxes, title, and licensing fees.

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