Winter / Spring 2019
IN THIS ISSUE
is published by
Sandia Preparatory School,
an independent college
preparatory school for students
in grades 6 through 12.
Head of School
Assistant Head of School
for Upper School
Keepin' It Fresh
Sandia Prep’s talented faculty employ a
Assistant Head of School
for Middle School
wide and ever-expanding array of teaching
techniques to help students connect to the
Dean of Students
Director of Development
Making Caring Cool
Prep students pledge to uphold the highest
standards of personal and academic
standards while contributing to the school's
Director of Information Technology
culture of kindness.
Assistant Head of School for
Director of College Counseling
Melissa Jo Stroud
Director of Marketing
In Every Issue
1 From the Head of School
3 From the Archives
5 Alumni Recaps
7 Prep Community Q & A
Melissa Jo Stroud
Melissa Besante Dineen ’97
Patricia Gabbett Snow
Susan Walton ’72
Sandia Preparatory School
532 Osuna Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113
Javin Felipe '22 (above) and his peers
explored incredible geologic structures,
hiked through time, and learned about what
it takes to be a field geologist during their
field lab in the Ojito Wilderness.
19 Smart Giving
21 Sundevil Snippets
23 Sundevil Sports
505.338.3000 phone • 505.338.3099 fax
sandiaprep.org • firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL
learners and as citizens, and how can we
best help them?
As technology evolves at an overwhelming
discover and pursue their passions, they
way they guided alumna Sage Volkman ’99
on her way to becoming a counselor and
motivational speaker, and as history teacher
Remembering Our Founder
Barbara Young Simms - Founder, Sandía School
June 22, 1920 - October 27, 2018
pace, one thing I’ve come to realize is
that what the world cares about is not
what you know, but what you do with your
knowledge. One forward thinker whose
ideas I’ve embraced says this: Play, passion,
Amanda Parker demonstrates her passion
for showing students how understanding the
past can empower them to shape the future.
Community service isn’t required here; it’s
intrinsic to what we do. From our Refugee
Barbara Young Simms founded Sandía School in 1966 because she felt
that girls deserved every bit as good of an education as boys. “When you
educate a boy, you educate a man. When you educate a girl, you educate a
family,” was a phrase she repeated.
and purpose are at the heart of what every
Alliance visiting a community farm with
Barbara was born in Chicago, attended the University School for Girls in
student needs. To that I would add – family.
students from Africa, Afghanistan, and
Chicago, graduated from Albuquerque High School and attended Smith
Tony Wagner, a Senior Research Fellow at
Pakistan, to eighth-graders serving lunch
College. Barbara met Albert Gallatin Simms II, and the two began one of
“Efforts and courage are not
enough without purpose and
direction.” - John F. Kennedy
To kick off this 2019-20 school year, I
asked our faculty and staff to tackle several
questions about Sandia Prep. Among
other things, I asked them to dig deep and
ponder what makes Sandia Prep unique
among all other schools in Albuquerque;
what we should do create a curriculum
that prepares students for a technological
and global future; and how we should
tackle the growing demand for nontraditional,
innovative approaches to school
organization and curriculum delivery.
the Learning Policy Institute, gave a Ted Talk
a few years ago in which he explains how he
discovered, through interviews of parents
and mentors of successful innovators,
what they had done to encourage intrinsic
motivation among these young people.
He found that students who had more
exploratory play, less screen time, and more
unstructured time, were more successful. He
found that students who were encouraged
to find and pursue a passion – through
projects, research and self-directed efforts
– were more successful. They needed to
collaborate and make mistakes. And he
found that students who were encouraged
to give back and make a difference, who
truly found a purpose, were successful.
at a shelter for homeless people, we are
always looking for ways to partner with our
community to make it a better place for all
There is no innovation without failure, and
we strive to model for our students what
we are asking of them. We are continuously
learning, changing, and growing. We expect
nothing less of ourselves, and we want the
same for our students.
And now, because “play” is the first order of
business for a successful learner, I think I’ll
head out to the golf course.
Please enjoy reading this issue of 532 and
Albuquerque's great romances.
While Albert practiced medicine, Barbara raised five kids, taught Sunday
school, worked with the Junior League, did community service, and
somehow managed to record the stories of truly notable New Mexicans,
long before oral history became a buzzword and preserving vocal memories
was the bailiwick of ballad hunters.
In her "leisure" time, Barbara started a school on property vacated by
the Albuquerque Academy when it moved to Wyoming Boulevard and
Academy Road NE. “It seems incredible to me, with five children, that I
thought I had time to do this. You know a lot of people wait for you to start
the Brownie Troop or the Girl Scout Troop. Why I ever felt I could do all
these things, I don’t know. I must have been taking vitamins,” Barbara said.
With support and hard work from parents and believers, a new Sandía
School for girls debuted in September 1966 at what is now Osuna Road and
The resulting discussions help guide both
every day and long-term approaches in
our work with children. As you will see in
this issue of 532, we employ a wide variety
of methodologies to meet the needs of
all learners. My assistant heads of school,
Dr. Cheryl McMillan and Susi Hochrein,
have been leading Project Based Learning
brainstorming and support sessions for
our amazing faculty. Over refreshments,
smart teachers bounce ideas off each other,
share both failures and successes, and offer
support for one another.
All of it boils down to these questions: What
Finally, as we all know, family is integral
to helping all of us to become happy,
productive individuals. At Sandia Prep, we
are a family, and we also recognize the vital
and precious role of family time for our
Visit any classroom at Sandia Prep, and I
believe you will see all of these elements at
work. We want our students to enjoy their
time here. From Activity period to Lion and
Unicorn day (where yours truly takes a turn
in the dunk tank) to assemblies, our students
have time to unwind and converse with
teachers and friends.
learning about all the ways we keep learning
fresh, relevant, and fun.
Head of School
Against a lot of odds, the school survived, carrying forward the original
Sandía School's traditions of community service, drama, music, academics,
sports, and spirit. When the first male student was admitted in 1973, the
name “Sandía School for Girls” was no longer relevant, and a new moniker -
“Sandia Preparatory School” - was selected.
Barbara Young Simms was active in arts and civic groups and helped
local and statewide groups to raise money and build strong boards. Her
husband of 75 years, Dr. Albert Gallatin Simms II, had an active role in
the Albuquerque Academy for boys. He passed away on April 21, 2019.
Barbara and Albert had five children, 14 grandchildren, and 13 greatgrandchildren.
Daughter Mary Simms ’73 and granddaughter Katie Maurer
’01 both attended Sandia Prep.
- Susan Walton ’72 and Mo Palmer
do our students need to be successful as
Our teachers love helping our students to
Late 1970s • Students dance in class in the school’s first
modular building, which was also the Drama Classroom.
A school day at Sandia Prep has always offered many
avenues for learning. Students can explore by using
hands-on, interdisciplinary activities, student-led inquiry,
small group work, and traditional classroom techniques.
From our founding, our out-of-classroom space has
1993 • Our journalism program pioneered computers
in the classroom. Yearbook and newspaper students
used word processing and graphics design programs to
produce student publications.
1992 • Students researched and laid out the curves
of our state’s largest river in the dirt between the 100
Building and science labs. They recreated shores of the
Rio Grande Valley through New Mexico by placing native
plants alongside the “river’s” edge.
been incorporated into the school day, making for a fun
and productive learning experience.
2002 • Classes meet outside when a teacher finds a
way to enjoy New Mexico’s great weather.
- Susan Walton '77
2000 • Our art teachers, all artists themselves, work
to help all of their students find their own artistic
expressions. Pictured: alumnus Dominic Serna '01
SEPTEMBER 28, 2018
Looking back at the 2018 - 2019 year
During our 10th annual golf
tournament, alumni players
helped raise more than $20,000
for Prep’s Financial Aid Program,
which provides assistance to
nearly 40% of our students. A
special thanks to April Camilli-
Marker '93 for chairing our annual
golf tournament. We appreciate
her continued support!
OCTOBER 21, 2018
Legacy Lunch at Passport to Prep
Each October, the children of local alumni
are invited to our Legacy Lunch to learn
more about the Prep admission process,
tuition assistance, and why Sandia Prep
is a top private school in NM.
DECEMBER 21, 2018
MAY 26, 2019
JULY 12 -13, 2019
Winter Solstice Alumni Reunion
& Campus Tour
A special thank you to Greg Farah ’99
of FaraHNHeight Fine Art gallery in
Santa Fe for sponsoring the event.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of our
Outdoor Leadership Program and the
retirement of program directory Larry
Hanley, the OLP and Sandia Prep's Alumni
Association hosted a RENDEZVOUS. More
than 300 Prep community members enjoyed
wild game and camp stove stations, a saloon
with spirits tastings, ax throwing, and more.
Sundevil Athletic Hall of Fame inductions,
student vs. alumni games, a family picnic,
and much more took place during our
largest alumni event of the year.
MAY 5, 2019
Sundevil Chili/e Cook-Off
We love that the winning
team at our inaugural
Chili(e) Cook-off was
made up of alumni +
incoming students and
parents! Alumni had a
strong presence at our
and we're thankful for
their continued support.
Prep’s Sundevil Chili/e
Cook-off raised $10k
for the expansion and
renovation of Sandia
Prep's Tennis Facility.
NOVEMBER 5, 2018 NOVEMBER 20, 2018 DECEMBER 3, 2018
Dallas Meet & Greet
A special thank you to our alumni
hosts: Alex Munoz '09, Dr. Shalon
Quinn '96, and Kiersten Stockham '91.
Annual Alumni Service Project
The Sandia Prep Alumni Association
teamed up with Prep’s National Honor
Society for our Roadrunner Food
Bank service project. In two hours, the
group sorted 1,600 pounds of pasta.
Santa @ Sandia Prep
Each December, dozens of alumni
families join us for our annual
Santa. We love having future
Sundevils on campus!
Q & A - ALUMNI PROFILE
Q & A - ALUMNI PROFILE
(L-R) Avery Volkman '96, Prep Lion, Sage Volkman '99,
and Ken Tekin '97 during the 2017 Legacy Lunch.
When she was five years
old, Sage Volkman '99 was
seriously burned in a camping
trailer fire. She sustained third-
and fourth-degree burns and
was not expected to survive.
After years of surgeries and
hospital stays, she chose to
attend Sandia Prep because
faculty were happy to meet
her needs. Ms. Volkman is
now a licensed therapist in
Utah specializing in trauma,
PTSD, addiction, anxiety,
and depression. She also is a
gifted motivational speaker.
Where are you currently working and
what is your job title?
"I have my Masters in Counseling and
run a private practice, Sage Wellness and
Counseling, in Draper, Utah. I primarily work
with PTSD, anxiety, depression and body
What are some of the day-to-day
challenges you face in your work?
"Being able to meet each patient and
their needs. Creating and building trust,
to be able to challenge their thinking and
behaviors. Finding healthy therapeutic
modalities to help make their lives healthier
and happier. Also, I don’t take any notes
during session, and so remembering details
and recalling for each individual patient."
How would you describe the type of
student you were during your seven
years at Sandia Prep?
"My situation was a little different. During
sixth grade, I met with all my teachers and
faculty. They asked if I wanted to be on
a Pass/Fail system or get actual grades. I
knew that Pass/Fail wouldn’t allow me to get
into many colleges, so I opted for grades.
Graduated from Prep
BA in Psychology
MA in Counseling
Lion or Unicorn?
Sage will speak to Prep students during
an all-school assembly on March 27, 2020.
Because I had multiple surgeries throughout
the academic year, I was gone a lot. I was a
dedicated student. I didn’t get all As, but I
can say with certainty I did my best. And all
my teachers knew that as well. I would also
say I was a delightful student, who brought
humor into the classroom."
Did you have a favorite class or
"I loved Ms. Perry’s English classes. Mr.
Fitz was fun and quirky - a kindred. I loved
Creative Writing. I also loved Mr. Briley’s film
history class; it taught me to find symbolism
in more than just films. Photography! It was
so fun, and Mr. Hudock was a great and chill
How did your experience at Prep influence
who you are today (personally
"Personally -- I was able to be myself.
Reinvent myself. I started at Prep with two
tissue expanders the size of footballs in my
belly, and a trach (tube in my throat). No one
teased me. I am scarred head to toe, and I
wasn’t bullied once. Prep was this safe and
kind bubble that was not just accepting of my
differences, but most people’s differences."
Do you have a favorite Prep memory?
"I loved the friends I made, The Quad,
and Yearbook Zoo Day! But it really says
something that my entire class nominated
me, a burn thriver, as their senior Prom
How did Prep, in general, help prepare
you for college or your career?
"I was so prepared for college that I actually
got better grades than I did at Prep! In
college, I didn’t struggle with writing
essays, taking tests, taking notes or time
management. I was incredibly academically
prepared. I ultimately thrived in academia,
which led to me going on my to Master’s
degree, because I was confident in my
What would you tell people who want to
pursue a career in your field of study?
"I absolutely love what I do! If you love
listening to people and are comfortable with
the uncomfortable, then look into a helping
and therapist profession. I had a professor in
my undergraduate program tell me I “don’t
belong in this field.” I sent him a business
card from my office, with my title and
credentials. ALWAYS pursue your dreams.
Never let anyone tell you what you are or
aren’t capable of."
Any advice for current Prep students
concerning their time at Prep or
education/careers after Prep?
"Keep and enjoy that inclusive environment.
Prep taught me how to not only do my
work well, but how to make friends. Prep’s
activities and academics allowed me to see
that work can be fun, and this what I continue
to create every day both in my personal and
Finally, are you a Lion or a Unicorn?
Lion by legacy - Unicorn in heart :)
"Prep’s activities and
academics allowed me to
see that work can be fun,
and this is what I continue
to create everyday
both in my personal and
Volkman runs Sage Wellness and Counseling in Draper, Utah.
Q & A - FACULTY PROFILE
Q & A - FACULTY PROFILE
Why do you feel it is important for
students to learn about history and its
impact on the world today?
Taking in Seattle while on a ferris wheel
overlooking Puget Sound this past summer.
Modern World History
Oppression, Resistance, and
Year Joined Prep
BA in History
MA in Educational Thought and
(Currently) PhD in Language,
Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies
Lion or Unicorn?
In addition to teaching History, Amanda Parker sponsors Empower
Prep, a student-led organization dedicated to providing education
and raising awareness around issues of diversity and inclusion.
Upper school students recently gave a presentation during Ninth
Grade Wellness Days on racism and how to keep our community
unified and inclusive. Ms. Parker lives with her daughters, Juliet, a
seventh-grader at Prep and Anastasia, a fourth grader at Bandelier
Elementary, and their wonderdog, Winnie.
"It is vital that students learn our history in
order to understand our current environment.
I believe that history education should lead to
a deeper connection between people and a
sense of empathy and understanding about
the experiences of others. I teach students to
bear witness to the past in hopes that they
are going to use that perspective to shape
the future. I approach history education as a
means for students to understand how they
fit into the larger story of humanity and to
ensure that they see everyone else as part of
that story, too."
"I teach students to bear witness to the
past in hopes that they are going to use that
perspective to shape the future."
Was there a particular event that, or
person who, sparked your interest in your
chosen career path?
"My dad was a history teacher and retired
after 40 years. I grew up with history lessons
at the dinner table, so I had that curiosity
and passion at a young age. My mother’s
older brother died in Vietnam, and that part
of my family history made me interested in
the Vietnam War at a very young age. My
dad was also at the Kent State protests that
ended in violence in the early 70s, and that
had a big impact on how passionately I feel
about being an active participant in our
What makes you passionate about
"I am very passionate about helping students
develop a critical consciousness about who
they are in the world and their responsibility
to others. I love watching them grow and
develop throughout the years."
What time in history is your favorite to
"I like teaching 20th century world and
post-reconstruction United States history.
My masters and doctoral work focuses on
raceand racism, so those are the topics I
am most passionate about teaching."
When you think about Sandia Prep,
what do you think really distinguishes
"I think that Sandia Prep stands out as a
place where deep academic work takes
place in a small, familiar setting. I believe
we are constantly striving to do new
things and make sure that our community
is doing well, too. I don’t know of many
other educational environments that are
as nurturing and supportive."
Parker with her daughters Juliet and
Anastasia at the River of Lights. "It's my
favorite Albuquerque thing, and we go
every year on my birthday."
If you could enroll at Sandia Prep as a
middle and/or upper school student, what
classes would you take?
"I would definitely take a theater class. I took
theater all through high school, and I would
love to get back into it some day."
What’s something you taught Sandia Prep
students that you would like them to hold
onto when they move on into college, and
"I believe that most students really want to
be known and understood above all else,
and that our various disciplines lead to
self-knowledge in one way or another. After
leaving my classes, I hope that they feel like
they were known by me and each other, and
that they take a strong sense of who they are
and what their values are into college and
their professional lives."
Q & A - STUDENT PROFILE
Q & A - STUDENT PROFILE
Years at Sandia Prep
Outdoor Leadership Program,
Lion or Unicorn?
Not too many high school
students can include, “I
built a satellite” on their
college applications, but
Parker Willis can. The
junior is pursuing STEM
classes, which are her
passion. “The teachers
and opportunities at
Sandia Prep are going to
help me find a job that I
will love and enjoy within
these fields,” she explains.
When she’s not in school,
Parker participates on a
robotics team and enjoys
3D modeling and printing.
Photo credit: Sandia National Laboratories - sandia.gov
What activities and programs are you
involved in at Sandia Prep?
"I participate in the Mechatronics/Engineering
program, the Odyssey Scholars Program, and
the Outdoor Leadership Program (OLP). I love
these programs because I feel like they are
grooming me to become the best me I can be.
The Engineering Program allows me to explore
my passion for creating and problem-solving,
while the Odyssey Scholars Program allows me
to study aerospace-related projects in depth.
On top of that, OLP strengthens my leadership
skills. I also am an equestrian at a local barn
where I work and ride."
How has being involved at Prep influenced
your high school experience?
"The Engineering Program has led me on a
path that has opened a number of doors for
me, whether that be the chance to be on the
or influencing me to ask my parents for a 3D
printer as a birthday present.
The Odyssey Scholars Program, while my
journey has just begun, is allowing me, a high
school student, to create my own miniaturized
satellite that will be launched into space.
This program is going to allow me to do
things a normal high schooler would not. The
experience I will gain from this project will
follow me for the rest of my life.
And, the Outdoor Leadership Program will
help my team and leadership skills. It will give
me experience that I do not believe I would
get anywhere else."
How would you describe yourself as a
"I think I am self-motivated and determined.
I am always looking for another challenge,
whether that be a faster-paced math class or
building a satellite. And, that motivation pays
am in an accelerated Calculus course, and I am
going to have an experience that almost no
other high schooler will have with the Odyssey
Do you have a favorite Prep memory
Tell us more about your Odyssey Scholars
morning news and show off a robot I created off. I entered my junior year with a 4.0 GPA, I
11 An Engineering Equestrian: Willis rides and works at a local barn.
"I think one of my favorite memories was when
we tested our first project in my Introduction
to Engineering class. We were split into teams
and each team designed and built their own
bridge out of card stock and hot glue. We
used CAD (Computer Aided Design) programs
like Inventor and Fusion 360 to create a virtual
representation of our bridge before we built
it in real life. We used those models to create
drawings for each individual part, which we cut
out and glued together. Our bridge held the
most at around 74 pounds. My favorite part
of testing that bridge was when Mr. Buck, our
engineering teacher, had to get a 25-pound
weight to put into the five-gallon bucket
holding all of the sand. And when the bucket
did not break the bridge, he had to go get two
more ten-pound weights. That was when the
bridge finally broke."
"For my Odyssey Scholars Project, I will be
building a CubeSat. Now, why a CubeSat? Well,
it will allow me to explore my areas of interest:
robotics, aerospace engineering, and computer
programming. It also will give me a difficult
challenge, exposing me to things I haven’t faced
yet. And, lastly, it is unique. I bet no one else will
have “I built a satellite” on their resume.
How will I accomplish this? First off, I will need
to obtain funding, which I will do through
grant writing and fundraising. Secondly, I need
to conduct research. I will learn about the
components and tools I will be using to make sure
I use them as efficiently as possible. Thirdly, I will
design, prototype, and redesign. I will use the help
of CAD programs to create a virtual representation
of my CubeSat, 3D print prototype parts, and use
a high altitude balloon to test those parts. Fourth,
test my final design and make sure everything
works properly. Finally, launch. Yes, I said launch.
I will either have the CubeSat sent into space in a
pea pod on a rocket or sent to the International
Space Station as cargo and launched from there.
What will I be producing? I will be creating a
CubeSat, or a miniaturized satellite. This is a 3D
print of a 1 unit, or 10 cm by 10 cm by 10 cm,
CubeSat. This is not my design, but it will give you
an idea of what the structure is supposed to look
like. I will design my CubeSat in such a way that
it has the ability to measure the magnetic field of
the Earth. Why? Well, over the past few years, the
magnetic field has been shifting at extreme speed,
and I think it would be fascinating to be able to
measure that change.”
Where do you see yourself five years from
"Five years from now, I hope to be in an Ivy
League college where I am focusing on Aerospace
Engineering. I hope to have gained a lot of
experience within those five years and have
become a better, wiser person because of it. And,
I hope to have a working satellite up in space."
by Patricia Gabbett Snow
Here’s a phrase you’re
not likely to hear
Sandia Prep teachers
utter: “But we’ve
always done it this
Keeping teaching and learning fresh,
engaging, and relevant is a driving
force behind Prep’s ever-evolving and
expanding approach to education.
And because there’s no one-size-fits-all
teaching style or prescribed curriculum,
Prep’s beloved faculty members
practice a wide variety of techniques.
As an independent school,
Sandia Prep has the autonomy to be
innovative, and that’s part of what
keeps teachers excited and motivated.
In turn, enthusiastic teachers give
students the best possible experience.
“That autonomy, that’s innovative
in itself. That doesn’t exist in a lot of
places,” explains Brian Tregembo, 8th
and 9th grade English teacher. Faculty
members are free to decide what they
want students to learn and how they
want them to get there, he says.
Grabbing their Attention
For instance, members of the English
Department continually re-examine the
novels they assign, looking at “what’s
going to engage kids in the best
possible ways,” Tregembo says.
Graphic novels such as “March”
– a series about the civil rights
movement as seen through the eyes
of Congressman John Lewis – are
“definitely a thing now, they’re pretty
well accepted all up and down the
curriculum,” he explains. Some Prep
teachers use “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prizewinning
graphic novel, to teach about
Titles touching on topics straight
from the headlines – sexuality, identity,
police shootings, and poverty, for
example – are popular with students,
Tregembo says. English instructor Bill
Slakey launched a project to increase
interest in, and conversation around,
books on campus, and to explore
the reasons why a book might be
considered an American classic.
“I was also concerned with
increasing diversity of authors and
works in the American Lit curriculum
and thinking about the overall decline
in reading for pleasure in society,”
His 11th-grade students interviewed
a number of readers about books that
might be considered classics, then
chose and read one – a total of 37
titles across Slakey’s two classes. Each
student gave a presentation on their
book and wrote a paper. Students then
a say in their
curriculum, I think,
is the best way to
own they’d most like to read.
Next, they broke into small groups,
with each group reading and studying
one of seven “finalist” books. They
created presentations and an oncampus
“marketing campaign” to
convince 10th graders to choose their
After watching the seven
presentations, sophomores voted,
selecting “Do Androids Dream of
Electric Sheep” by Philip K. Dick as
their assigned summer reading.
“I really enjoyed the way we chose
the summer reading,” says Caitlin
White ’21. “I think a lot of the time we
are assigned a book that we have never
heard of before, and we have no idea
what we are diving into.”
The presentations gave students a
good overview of the plots, she adds.
“Having the ability to choose makes
it that much more enjoyable,” White
explains. “Giving students a say in their
curriculum I think is the best way to
Learning by Doing
That type of Project Based Learning
has been, and will continue to be, a
focus for Prep, says Dr. Cheryl McMillan,
Assistant Head of School for Upper
School and a 12th-grade advisor.
“What research says, and what
we believe, is that the best teaching
is a blend of guided content with
opportunities to explore more deeply
and apply that content,” McMillan says.
Prep teachers recognize that today’s
learners don’t approach problems the
same way as students of the past, partly
because of technology’s influence.
“The need for traditional content
delivery has decreased. This generation
seems to want to be problem solvers,”
Project Based Learning is one way
to help students make personal, longlasting
connections to their academic
Social / Emotional
For example, rather than simply
reading about history, 7th-grade
Learning is vital
voted on which books besides their
teacher Dr. Scott Crago challenged
- Caitlin White, ’21
students to research life-changing
moments in New Mexico’s past
and then design monuments
commemorating them. They invited
several guests, including some
Albuquerque city councilors, to select
one finished project for possible
installation somewhere in town.
“Kids were more engaged because
they got to pick what they wanted
to do,” says Savannah Lawrence ’24,
whose Pueblo Revolt model and
presentation was chosen as the favorite.
“I enjoyed it because my mom works
with Native Americans, and I got to
interact with them on a more personal
level through this project, to find out
how their traditions mix with their
“Kids love the freedom and the
engagement of that,” adds McMillan,
“not sitting at a desk and being passive
learners. They love the stimulation and
energy of having to get up and figure
As part of his professional growth,
Calculus and Computer Programming
instructor Neal Holtschulte plans to
implement investigative learning in
his courses because he realized that
passive learning doesn’t engage
students in the mental exercise that
makes knowledge stick.
Students often come into his math
class and say, “I understood it during
lecture, but as soon as I get home,
I can’t do it,” he explains. Likewise,
the computer programming students
copy and paste code from his lectures
into their ongoing projects but don’t
develop a deep understanding of
what’s happening “under the hood,”
Rather than doing a couple of math
problems in front of the class, then
throwing students into homework
and behaviors to
and ethically with
daily tasks and
- Karen Lyall
questions, Holtschulte will encourage
students to work in small groups on
Instead of lecture, examples and
prescribed steps for how to complete a
problem, Holtschulte will ask questions
that prime students to consider the
concepts involved over the course of
multiple days, leading up to a multistep
“Students need to work problems,
discuss course content, and make
connections on their own to develop
critical thinking skills,” he says.
Erasing Boundaries between Subjects
Interdisciplinary courses help students
make connections to the real world and
across subjects, according to McMillan,
so Prep is adding more of them to the
One new offering for 2019-20 is
Latin American Studies, which includes
interdisciplinary work with Spanish film
study. New English electives include
Philosophy and Literature and Literature
In his popular DareDevil Design,
Daniel de Leon’s 6th- and 7th-grade
students engage in creative, critical
and constructive processes to develop
products, ideas, and projects to help
communities in need. For instance,
they participate in the Future City
Competition, a nationwide engineering
challenge in which students imagine,
research, design, and build cities of the
future that showcase their solution to
a sustainability issue. For the nonprofit
Lantern Project, DareDevil Design
students build and auction off lanterns
to raise money for people around the
Over the course of a semester, de
Leon’s Entrepreneurial Studies students
work in small teams on consulting
projects with real start-up companies.
They conduct research, interview
customers, and work to devise a
solution, then pitch their ideas directly
to the business CEOs.
One project they tackled was
figuring out a safe, affordable,
refrigerated-shipping method for Dion
Pizza’s popular salad dressings.
Even courses such as engineering
are not strictly about calculations and
“The engineering program has
allowed me to explore my passion for
engineering and creativity through
a variety of projects, from building
bridges to programming cars,” explains
Ramona Delyser ’22.
Prep teachers are continually
designing curriculum that encourages
active learning, critical thinking, and
collaboration. The Odyssey Scholars,
Distinguished Scholars, Senior
Capstone, and Independent Study
classes allow students to take deep
dives into subjects about which they are
Lawrence's Pueblo Revolt model from
her 6th-grade history class.
“Computer programming is my
thing, and it was great to come to
Middle School DareDevil Design students brainstorm with
SPACE Director Dan deLeon in the school's makerspace.
We were among the nation's first
schools to join Harvard University's
"Making Caring Common" campaign.
The campaign encourages students
to build strong, inclusive communities
and prepares them to be caring,
Sandia Prep's SuRGe (Student
Relations Group) is on a mission to
create a positive presence around
campus. Through school-wide
campaigns like "Start with A Hello
Week," positive affirmations and notes
posted around campus -- plus regular
recognition of students, faculty, and
staff who make Prep a better place
- SuRGE is yet another reminder of
Prep's strong community.
Sundevil students, faculty and
staff work together to create a
culture of kindness.
Sandia Prep also is a proud member
of Kindness Club International,
Mr. Holtschulte and say, ‘Hey, let’s do
an independent study with me and
another kid,’ and he did,” says Connor
Learning for Life
"Ever since the last recession,
educators have been seeing students
and their families struggle with
increased insecurity about the future,"
says Karen Lyall, Coordinator of Health
and Counseling. That manifests itself in
students feeling more pressure to get
into a good school, get a good job, and
make money, she explains.
“That’s the case even with middle
school students, who should be
enjoying themselves, learning to get
along,” Lyall says. “If students aren’t
fully present, if they’re having difficulty
managing stress, we need to meet their
needs so they can be successful.”
Social/Emotional Learning is vital
to enhancing students’ capacity “to
integrate skills, attitudes, and behaviors
to deal effectively and ethically with
daily tasks and challenges,” such as
stress, she explains.
The strong relationships that Prep
students form with their teachers
has always been one of its strengths,
she adds, and it enabled faculty to
identify the Social/Emotional Learning
components they believe make for an
ideal school community. Those include
helping students to create meaningful
friendships, providing opportunities for
community service, teaching life skills,
and nurturing a sense of wonder.
Each grade level will include Social/
Emotional Learning in its advisory time
on topics students helped choose.
Some ideas they asked to explore
include: how to be an upstander
when witnessing incidents of bullying
and harassment; respecting and
protecting yourself and others; and
in the upper grades, how to balance
emerging independence and increasing
responsibilities with a joy for living and
Such “character counts” education
is nothing new to Prep, Lyall adds,
but the latest iteration is “more
comprehensive and thoughtful.”
- Patricia Gabbett Snow
an organization whose
objective is to engage
and empower students
to see how they can
create positivity around
school, at home, and
in the world.
Annual Fund • Head of School Bill Sinfield announces
the 2018-2019 Annual Fund goal is $850,000. Trustees
and parents reached out to Sundevil community
members during the School’s yearly phonathon effort for
contributions to Sandia Prep’s annual fundraising campaign.
10th Annual Golf Tournament • The event raised
$36,855 for Sandia Prep’s Financial Aid Program.
Tuition Raffle • And the lucky winner is….Sandia Prep
parent Rita Chalamidas. Nearly 500 tickets were purchased
for the School’s first tuition raffle, raising $32,700 for
additional campus security improvements.
Annual Report Published • Online version available at
Frank & Dolores Hines Stage Dedication • Many thanks
to Dee Hines for investing more than $100,000 in the
renovation of the theater, allowing Prep to replace 330
seats, install new carpet, add a fresh coat of paint, update
the bathrooms, update lighting and equipment, and adorn
walls with photos of our actors, musicians, and dancers.
Sundevil Chili/e Cook-off • A crowd of 150 turned out
for Prep’s first Chili/e Cook-Off to compete for the title
of Chili/e Master. From traditional Texas chili to authentic
New Mexican chile recipes, event goers tasted creations
from 16 team entries. The event raised $10,000 for the
renovation and expansion of our Sundevil Tennis Courts.
A special thank you to our generous sponsors Goodrich
Roofing, Casa Rodeña Winery and Lava Rock Brewing
Company, as well as, our alumni, parent and student
volunteers; and Prep's Development Committee.
Recapping a year of generosity
400+ grandparents and
grandfriends joined their
grandchildren for Sandia
Prep’s annual event.
#GivingTuesday • In less than 24 hours, Sandia
Prep community members raised more than $7K for
our students, faculty, and programs during our 2018
#GivingTuesday campaign! Thank you to all who made a
contribution. We are inspired and thankful for your support.
Security Enhancements + ADA Additions • A $28,400
grant from the Slomo and Cindy Silvian Foundation made
campus security enhancements possible, including a
new gate at the school's front entrance. Additionally, the
Hubbard Broadcasting Foundation awarded a $100,000
grant for ADA upgrades and new additions across campus.
Tennis Court Groundbreaking • An all-school assembly
and groundbreaking ceremony was held at the future site
of a $417,000 tennis facility expansion and remodel. The
original four courts were gifted by the Woltil Family in 2001.
Aranda Family Scholarships Established • Robert and
Liz Aranda changed the lives of two Sandia Prep students
and their families by establishing a multi-year scholarship,
which allowed two middle students to join the Sundevil
SUV for our OLP
In honor of the 25th Anniversary
of the Outdoor Leadership
Program and the retirement
of its director, Larry Hanley,
alumni, parents of alumni and
current parents supported
the fundraising campaign to
purchase a new Ford Expedition,
generously discounted by Power
Ford. Thanks to 100+ donors,
Sandia Prep's OLP now has a
SUV for future trips.
Quick hits from the
Gears were turning at the
Competition, where our
designed, built, programmed,
and tested robots to perform a
variety of tasks with more than
1,000 students from around
Austin Tackman '20 and Sam
Jeffries '20 discussed their
creative process and how
they became involved with the
New Mexico Girls Make Movies
program on KRQE’s New
Our 2019 SummerPrep
program was one of the best
we have ever had. Enrollment
was record-setting, and the
classes were well-received
by campers. Both mainstage
theater productions included
more than 100 students each,
with all shows selling out.
Eight sophomores were named our
Our 9th-grade geology classes adopted a
newest Odyssey Scholars. Their twoyear,
in-depth float studies (named include writing "Sundevil Unicorn")
and recording an album, exploring
that was collecting data in Antarctica.
various medical fields, criminal forensic
psychology, and building and launching
The float is part of a collaborative project
with many institutions, including Princeton
University, to better understand the Southern
Ocean's influence on climate.
“Be not afraid of greatness.
Some are born great, some
achieve greatness, and others
have greatness thrust upon
them.” Middle schoolers staged
an impressive production of
Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night.”
The Spring Fling concert
featured a Queen medley, a
Disney choral medley, and
music from Rent!
Sandia Prep partnered with
Horizons Albuquerque for
summer 2019. Through this
partnership, low-income public
school students had access to
Prep's facilities and technology
while they made academic
gains in math and reading.
Nathan Nguyen ’20 was “caught”
on camera jumping out of his car
and stopping traffic to help a blind
woman who fell while crossing
the street. After a bystander
posted photos of him on social
media, Nathan was honored for
his integrity and character with
the OneAlbuquerque Award by
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller.
Eight sophomores were named
our newest Odyssey Scholars.
Their two-year in-depth studies
include writing and recording
an album, exploring various
medical fields, criminal forensic
psychology, and building and
launching a satellite.
The entire campus participated
in "Start with Hello Week"
because saying "hello" can
help make a difference in
someone’s day. This simple
idea helps create a culture of
inclusion and connectedness
within our school.
Luke Bemish '21 took 2nd
out of all sophomores in the
state and 6th overall in the
annual UNM-PNM High School
Prep’s athletic program had a banner 2018-2019 year.
We finished with 12 District/League Championships and three State Championships
(Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, and Girls Track & Field.) Our Varsity Dance team won
two National Championships in Pom and Military. We also had five individual State
Champions, and many other individual honors this year.
Athletic highlights from our Sundevils
during the 2018-19 season:
Epherem Zerai '19 - State Champion in Cross Country and 1600 meter run
Skyler Gee '20 - State and District Champion in Cross Country
Jacqueline Rodriguez '20 - Girls Soccer 1-3A Player of the Year
Lucas Sandoval '19 - Boys Soccer 1-3A Player of the Year
Samantha Jeffries '20 - Girls Basketball District 5-3A Player of the Year
Marin Holtrop '22 - District 5-3A Individual Golf Champion
Sydney Pyles '20 - State 3A Pole Vault Champion
Sevilla Duran '20 - State 3A 300 Meter Hurdle Champion
Here’s the full wrap-up:
• Finished 21-6
• District 5-3A Regular Season and Tournament Champions
• 3A State Runner-up
Varsity Boys Cross Country
• Finished 3rd in District
Varsity Girls Cross Country
• Finished 4th in District 5-3A
Varsity Girls Soccer
• Finished 16-4-2
• New Mexico State A-AAA Champions
• District 5-1A-3A Champions
Varsity Boys Soccer
• Finished 15-8
• New Mexico State A-AAA Champions
• District 5-1A-3A Champions
Middle School Cross Country
• JV Champions
• 1-3A State Runner-up
Middle School Boys Basketball
• 6th Grade (Red) Champions
• 6th Grade (Blue) Runner-up
• National Champions (Pom)
• National Champions (Military)
• Finished State 3A Runner-up
All-State Coaches of
the Year honors went
to Mr. Tommy Smith for
Boys Soccer, Mr. Matt
Westerlund for Girls
Soccer, and Ms. Audra
Gentry for Volleyball. With
all of this success on fields
and courts, combined with
the fact that not one of
our student-athletes was
ever ejected from a game,
Sandia Prep was awarded
the 2018-19 Director’s
Cup for Athletic
Athletic Director Willie
Owens, the coaches, and
the players who dedicated
so much time and effort
to represent Sandia Prep.
Thanks, also, to all the
families who cheer on our
Varsity Girls Basketball
• Finished 16-12
• District 5-3A Regular Season and Tournament Champions
Boys Varsity Tennis
• Finished 3-8
• 6th in District
Michael James Blea '00
April Camilli-Marker '93
1977 Volleyball Team:
Kendra Barnhill '79
Varsity Boys Basketball
• Finished 20-11
• District 5-3A Regular Season and Tournament Champions
eSports is Prep's newest athletic offering.
Girls Varsity Tennis
• Finished 6-5
• 4th in District
Boys Varsity Track
• District 5-3A Champions
• 4th Place in State
Girls Varsity Track
• Finished District 5-3A Runner-up
• State 3A Champions
• Sydney Pyles '20 - State Champion: Set a State Record for Pole
Vault 10 ft
• Sevilla Duran '20 - State Champion: Set a State Record in the 300
Meter Hurdles 45.17
• Girls 4X400 meter State Champion (Sidney Harenberg '22, Maria
Merritt '20, Skyler Gee '20, Sevilla Duran'20)
H A L L
F A M E
Hall of Fame Inductees
The following alumni were honored for their
outstanding contributions to Prep's athletic
program during our July 2019 ceremony:
Vanessa Coleman '02
Jason Cloyes '02
Bobby Harms '01
Jiva Manske '00
Elizabeth Orchard '00
Ricardo Ramos '93
Bobby Schelling '02 (posthumous)
Colin Scott '01
Matt Stebleton '77
Mary True, Sandia Prep's first Athletic Director
Patti Flanagan '79
Noela Hall Pena '78
Jessica Jamison '79
Amy McCoy '79
Teri McIntosh Waite '78
Carrie Osborn '79
Heine Oski '79
Sheila Ryan Hunter '78
Tina Duncan '78
Renee Vigil '78
Coach Pete MacFarlane
Boys Middle School Track
Varisty Swimming and Diving
• Boys finished 6th in District
• Girls finished 8th in District
• 1-5A State 3rd Place (Overall)
• Varsity Boys APIAL Runner-up
• JV Boys APIAL Champions
Girls Middle School Track
• Varsity Girls APIAL Runner-up
• JV Girls APIAL Champions
• Finished 3-10
• Finished 11-16
• 3rd in District
The 1977 Volleyball team, along with
Coach Pete MacFarlane, are honored at
the 2019 Sundevil Athletic Hall of Fame.
• Finished 1-23
• 5th in District
Boys Varsity Golf
• District 5-1-AAA Golf Champions
• Justin Feuerherd ‘21 Medalist
• Tanner Bollinger ‘19 Medalist
Girls Varsity Golf
• District 5-1-AAA Golf Champions
In Sandia Prep's Weekly News emails, our Head of School often includes Alumni
Profiles. With 2,100+ alumni living and working around the globe, we've been able
to share some fun updates. If you would like to share an alumni update for this email
series, please contact our Alumni Office at email@example.com.
Help mold the future of the SPS Alumni Association. We’re always looking for
volunteers to join a committee to help with a variety of programs and events. If
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Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
to the Class
(first graduating class)
National Honor Society Members
Acceptance to colleges & universities
Number of colleges and universities to
which graduates were accepted
532 Osuna Road NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113