The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Allan Tapia with New Mexico’s Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish

Allan Tapia with New Mexico’s Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish during 2007 Legislative session in Santa Fe

Tapia named New Mexico School Principal of the Year

On March 1, Allan Tapia, Principal at Bernalillo Middle School was selected Principal of the Year by the New Mexico Association of Secondary School Principals (NMASSP).

NMASSP President Diane Baker said, “The selection process is conducted by committee. A vigorous review of all applications is undertaken, which includes reviewing letters of recommendation, work performance, history, and community involvement, as well as other factors. A lot of weight is given to letters of recommendation from the school district’s superintendent.”

“The Committee’s review is intensive. Selection as New Mexico’s Secondary School Principal of the Year is a prestigious accomplishment. Principal Tapia’s application will now be forwarded to the National Association Office and entered into the nationwide competition for the national title,” said President Baker.

Bernalillo Public School Superintendent Barbara Vigil-Lowder said, “Mr. Tapia is a credit to the profession, and exemplifies the highest standards of principalship.”

New Mexico’s Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish met with Principal Tapia during the legislative session, and Denish and Tapia sat together at the podium discussing education. It was an unusual and heartwarming sight to see the Principal of the Year seated at the podium next to the Lieutenant Governor as the legislature conducted business.

“I am pleased and proud that Principal Allan Tapia has been designated Secondary School Principal of the Year by the New Mexico Association of Secondary School Principals,” said Denish. “New Mexico’s education administrators are invaluable to the future of our state’s high-wage economy, in that they are responsible for shaping New Mexico’s young people to prepare them for higher education and entry into the workforce. This award is prestigious, and I wish Mr. Tapia all the best as he prepares to compete for the National Principal of the Year award in Washington, DC in July.”

Following the formal activities, Principal Tapia said, “I am deeply moved and honored to be selected as the New Mexico Secondary School Principal of the Year. This recognition would not have been possible without the support of the superintendent, my staff, students, parents, and community members. This commendation is a tangible symbol of the omnipresent mission at Bernalillo Middle School, to strive for academic and social excellence.”

Placitas Elementary School Recycling Club

Placitas Elementary School Recycling Club

The Earth cleaners

Recycling is a pretty hot topic up at Placitas Elementary school these days. On an average week, over two hundred pounds of recycled paper materials are collected to be recycled by the school (grades K-5). Plastic white grocery bags are also being collected at school and from the Placitas Recycling Center. Then the bags are brought to any Wal-mart store for cash incentives.

The recycling club was started at the school this past fall by teachers Juliet Jones and Vince Sheehan. The excitement of weighing the recycled paper and cardboard has really gotten the students and staff involved.

Each week, incentives are given to the three classes collecting the most total pounds of recycled items. Incentives include pizza parties, T-shirts, and rulers made from (you guessed it) recycled paper. The students volunteer to stay after school on Fridays to weigh all the classroom paper.

The recycling club has also expanded to include craft workshops presented by parents, based on an interdisciplinary curriculum developed around “Trash Talking.” Good job, Panther students, and remember to keep recycling for the Earth.

Placitas Community Flea Market

Spring is around the corner, and the Placitas Flea Market will start off its season on May 12 with a children’s flea market. Kids, parents, grandparents—clean out those toy boxes, closets, and garages, and haul it all down to The Merc for a fun day of selling, swapping, and buying. Participants can bring outgrown clothing, toys, bikes, books, music, games, and handmade crafts. Vendors of all kinds are encouraged to participate, however, no hot foods or sandwiches are permitted. Bake sale and lemonade stands are welcomed. This is a great opportunity for children to make a little pocket change and clear out unused items. The usual $10 vendor fee will be deferred for the children’s vending spaces.

The Merc is located in Homestead Village, one mile east on Highway 165 towards the village of Placitas. The cost is $10 per twelve-by-sixteen-foot space. A volunteer will collect fees the morning of the event.

The flea market is held the second Saturday of each month from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and continues through October. If you have something to sell, or love browsing and buying, this is the place to be.

The fees collected from the Flea Market support the Art in the School (AIS) Program at Placitas Elementary. AIS is a nationally recognized non-profit art education program that provides a comprehensive visual art curriculum to over twelve thousand elementary school children in our area. Parent and community volunteers attend a series of art lectures and studio workshops which prepare them to go into the classroom to teach art lessons.

This year’s theme was “Art and Science,” and children were introduced to M.C. Escher’s concepts of symmetry through tessellations. In the Alexander Calder’s moving sculpture unit, the students created mobiles and stabiles. Leonardo da Vinci drawings inspired the young artists to create their own scientific illustrations. The last unit on bridge design explored bridges from the Roman era to present day. The art education program theme for 2007-08, will be “Art Tells the Story: My Community.”

Please come out on May 12 in support of our local Flea Market. For more information on AIS or the Placitas Flea Market, contact Linda at (505) 867-0027.

Intel shows students they are engineers, too

Intel will host an engineering outreach event at Bernalillo Middle School where kids will put their engineering minds to work. Intel volunteers will introduce students to the new teen-focused engineering PBS television show, Design Squad. Then students will team up to design and solve their own engineering challenges.

Intel joined the National Science Foundation as a major funder for Design Squad, a thirteen-episode reality-style PBS television series. The series, which airs Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. on KNME TV 5 / DT 35, is designed to spark the interest of teenagers and encourage them to study and consider careers in math, science and engineering.

Southwest Football Conference underway in Rio Rancho

The season has started for the semi-professional Southwest Football Conference, and area residents will have many opportunities to see teams play in Rio Rancho.

Now through June 10, teams such as the New Mexico Crush and Rio Rancho Rams will play against teams from around the state on Sundays. Game times will range from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and games will be played at Rio Rancho Stadium, located at Rio Rancho High School (301 Loma Colorado NE), and at the Rio Rancho Sports Complex (3501 High Resort Boulevard).

Admission is $3 per person. Children aged twelve and under get in free, as do students who provide student identification. The complete eleven-week schedule can be found by visiting the City’s website ( and clicking on the Cultural Enrichment Department link.

Bunny Run and Ultimate Frisbee coming to Rio Rancho

The Cultural Enrichment Department of Rio Rancho is sponsoring a “Bunny Run” on Saturday, April 7, starting at 9 a.m. at the Rio Rancho High School track and field.

This is a fun run for the whole family. Events include a 5K run/walk and a one-mile family fun run/walk. Entry fee includes a race t-shirt for every participant, and a picture with the “Bunny” for participants ages 12 and under. Registration fee for the 5K run/walk is $20 and $10 for the one-mile fun run/walk.

The Cultural Enrichment Department is also seeking participants for its new Ultimate Frisbee Club. This recreational program will take place once a week on Saturdays beginning April 14 through May 26 from 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at the Rio Rancho Sports Complex.

Ultimate Frisbee is a competitive non-contact team sport played with a flying disc, similar to American football. All newcomers are welcome to learn this easy-to-play and extremely fun sport. During sessions, pick-up games will be played.

All groups, organizations, and clubs are welcome. Registration fee for program is $12, and the program is limited to those ages 15 and up.

Those interested can register at the Cultural Enrichment Department office in the Rio Rancho City Hall, located at 3900 Southern Blvd. SE in Rio Rancho. For more information, call (505) 891-5015.



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