Sandia Prep - 532 Magazine - Winter / Spring 2019


Sandia Prep's "532 Osuna Road" Magazine - Winter / Spring 2019 Issue

Winter / Spring 2019


osuna road



osuna road



is published by

Sandia Preparatory School,

an independent college

preparatory school for students

in grades 6 through 12.

Bill Sinfield

Head of School



Cheryl McMillan

Assistant Head of School

for Upper School


Keepin' It Fresh

Sandia Prep’s talented faculty employ a

Susi Hochrein

Assistant Head of School

for Middle School

wide and ever-expanding array of teaching

techniques to help students connect to the


Scott Jeffries

Dean of Students

Dacia Card

Business Manager

Julie Cook

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

Jenny Davidson

Director of Information Technology

culture of kindness.

Laura Fitzpatrick

Assistant Head of School for

Enrollment Management

Melissa Morse

Director of College Counseling

Melissa Jo Stroud

Director of Marketing

& Communications

In Every Issue

1 From the Head of School

3 From the Archives

5 Alumni Recaps

7 Prep Community Q & A

Managing Editor

Melissa Jo Stroud

Graphic Designer/Editor

Alexis Magaña-Jaggli


Melissa Besante Dineen ’97

Julie Cook

Willie Owens

Patricia Gabbett Snow

Susan Walton ’72

Sandia Preparatory School

532 Osuna Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113


"Under the

hood" learning

on the


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 •


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

of us.

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

Edith Boulevard.

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.

Bill Sinfield,

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

1 2








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


3 4

SEPTEMBER 28, 2018

Sandia Prep

Golf Tournament



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.

OLP Rendezvous

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.

Alumni Weekend

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

family-friendly fundraiser,

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!

5 76



(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

image issues."

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.

Sage Volkman

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

or professionally)?

"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

professional life."

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

professional life."

Volkman runs Sage Wellness and Counseling in Draper, Utah.



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.

Amanda Parker

Prep Role

History Teacher


Modern World History

Oppression, Resistance, and


Year Joined Prep



BA in History

MA in Educational Thought and

Sociocultural Studies

(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

our school?

"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."

9 10



Parker Willis

Class of


Years at Sandia Prep




Outdoor Leadership Program,

Horseback Riding

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 -

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

Scholars Program."

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.


(so far)?

"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."

keepin' it


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

the Holocaust.

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,”

Slakey explains.

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

Giving students

a say in their

curriculum, I think,

is the best way to

ensure growth.

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

ensure growth.”

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,”

she says.

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

everyday life.”

“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

it out.”

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,”

he says.

Rather than doing a couple of math

problems in front of the class, then

throwing students into homework

to enhancing

students’ capacity

“to integrate

skills, attitudes,

and behaviors to

deal effectively

and ethically with

daily tasks and


- Karen Lyall

questions, Holtschulte will encourage

students to work in small groups on

daily challenges.

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

and Immigration.

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

15 16

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,

constructive citizens.

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

Friedman ’19.

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.

MAY 2019

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


Grandparents' Day

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

Prep community

Gears were turning at the

RoboRAVE International

Competition, where our

engineering students

designed, built, programmed,

and tested robots to perform a

variety of tasks with more than

1,000 students from around

the world.

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

Mexico Living.

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

a satellite.

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.”

Photo credit:

Horizons Albuquerque

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

Mathematics Contest.

21 22



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:

Varsity Volleyball

• 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

Co-Ed Bowling

• 1-3A State Runner-up

Middle School Boys Basketball

• 6th Grade (Red) Champions

• 6th Grade (Blue) Runner-up

Varsity Dance

• 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


Congratulations to

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


23 24



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)




2019 Sundevil

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

Varsity Lacrosse

• Finished 3-10

Varsity Baseball

• 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.

Varsity Softball

• 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




Alumni Profiles

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

Volunteers Needed

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

you're interested in volunteering or learning more, please contact Prep’s Alumni

Office at

25 26


to the Class

of 2019




Odyssey Scholars

(first graduating class)


Distinguished Scholars


National Honor Society Members


Acceptance to colleges & universities


Number of colleges and universities to

which graduates were accepted


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532 Osuna Road NE

Albuquerque, NM 87113

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