A magazine for the Sandia Prep Community
50 Years of Prep Students
Learning Beyond the Classroom
Alumnus: Nate Rogers '05
Student: Amali Gordon-Buxbaum '17
Faculty: John Suding
Reunions, Meet & Greets,
& Much More!
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.
IN EVERY ISSUE
Prep Around the Web
Alumni Profile: Nate Rogers '05
From the Head of School
Student Profile: Amali Gordon-Buxbaum '17
From the Archive
Faculty Profile: John Suding
Class of 2016 Commencement Recap
Visit us online
Sandia Preparatory School
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
Matthew Nair '17
Ryann Rael '17
Patricia Gabbett Snow
Susan Walton ’72
Sandia Preparatory School
532 Osuna Rd NE • Albuquerque, NM 87113
505.338.3000 phone • 505.338.3099 fax
sandiaprep.org • firstname.lastname@example.org
This issue of 532 is printed on paper
containing 55% recycled/
30% post-consumer content.
Once you have enjoyed this issue,
3 532 • Fall 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
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.
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
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
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,
Head of School
532 • Fall 2016 4
S A N D I A
A L U M N
P R E P
W E E K E N D
• 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? email@example.com
ABQ Meet & Greet
February 11, 2016
L.A. Meet & Greet
March 24, 2016
Meet & Greet
February 26, 2016
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!
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
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.
532 • Fall 2016 6
shared this photo
on our Sandia
page. She said,
(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
Bushnell '85, Jay
'06 and Kristen
'06 attended Easter
Thomas is a
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.
July 24, 2016 in
'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.
'97 married Jack
Baruth at the
Valley of Fire near
Las Vegas, NV on
April 17, 2016.
The family lives in
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
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
’00s In June, Courtney
residency at the
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
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
into the world
May 4, 2016.
The family lives
in Amsterdam where Ross works with the
advertising agency, Anomaly.
Sheehy '02 and her
son, Charlie into
their family in May.
Charlie joins big
sister Jordan, age 2.
Berna Urioste on
June 18, 2016 in
has a master's
degree in electrical
California Polytechnic State University
and is currently working at Sandia
We appreciate our
Class Reunion liaisons!
Audra Gentry '06
Kyle T. Cowan
'07 plays the
role of "Pa" in
season one of
AMC. He also
plays a role in
film War On
Everyone, set to be released in the fall.
His book Sunshine is Forever is now
available for preorder on InkShares.com.
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
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
Stellar, a digital
private aviation in
Palo Alto, Calif.
'08 is serving
as an intern for
Grisham, a U.S.
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.
Betsy Blueher Truby '73
Terry Dean '71
Lindsay Harper Makepeace
Jason Wiesner '12
532 • Fall 2016 8
’10 is an Event
Events in Los
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.
’11 graduated from
in June with a
master's degree in
Richard has a
bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering
from the University of New Mexico.
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
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.
in June in
(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
his first year as a 4th
Class cadet at the
United States Air
Force Academy in
Grayson is majoring
summer Grayson completed both survival
and parachuting training.
In June, Delaney
received the Girl
Scouts of America’s
took place at
Mansion in Santa Fe and had alumna
Monique Mayer Jacobson ’96 as the
keynote speaker. Monique is the CYFD
Cabinet Secretary of 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
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.
11 532 • Fall 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 visits an organic
farm during her trip to Cuba.
13 532 • Fall 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
of French class.
And it was really
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
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
“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
15 532 • Fall 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
50 YEARS OF PREP
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
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.
17 532 • Fall 2016
Spanish • French • Mandarin
6th Grade Culture & Geography
Global Studies Elective
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
France • Guatemala • Japan
Mexico • New York, NY • Nicaragua
Spain • Washington, DC
Spanish Model UN
World Language Alliance Organization
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.
Sandia Prep's humanitarian efforts
have included delivering
equipment to foreign schools
and providing aid to natural
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
532 • Fall 2016 18
This spring, Annelise
Wall ’20 took on the
role of Anne Frank
in The Diary of Anne
Frank with Albuquerque
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,
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
19 532 • Fall 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
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
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
and dragon parade.
History Wall unveiled
at Noche de Oro,
Varsity Baseball Team
wins the 2016 New
Mexico Class 4A State
partook in a Mardi
Gras fête with a
parade along with
a French feast
complete with a
variety of Louisianastyle
Sandia Prep held
its first home track
& field meet in the
Durán Family Track
and Soccer Stadium
in early March.
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
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
21 532 • Fall 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!
532 • Fall 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.
23 532 • Fall 2016
2016 - 2017
Patrick Allen, Chair
Elizabeth Kirschner, Vice Chair
Todd Sandoval '91, Secretary
Susan (Przekurat) Epstein ‘91
Jessica Eaves Mathews
April Camilli Marker ‘93
Lydia (Jones) Pizzonia ‘99
Brandon Saylor '03
Vahid Staples ’91
Arren Buck '04
Matthew Westerlund '03
50th Anniversary sign at
and share on Instagram
CLASS OF 2016
25 532 • Fall 2016
532 • Fall 2016 26
Sandia Preparatory School
532 Osuna Rd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
Permit No. 215
Raffle tickets available December 2016
Proceeds benefit Sandia Prep’s Annual Fund
WIN A 2017 MINI COOPER
Special thanks to Sandia MINI • sandiaprep.org/minicooper
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.