The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Coyote and the Sky by Emmett “Shkeme” Garcia

Children’s book by Santa Ana Pueblo author explores native mythology, cosmic origins

When the “Animal People” journey to their new home in the Fourth World, they discover darkness. Their leader helps them create the sun, moon, and stars by carrying up hot coals in yucca mats from their old home in the underworld or “Shipap.” Squirrel, Rabbit, and Badger look after the other animals on the journey, but Coyote, known for his mischief, has been forbidden to go with them.

A cunning animal, Coyote plots his revenge. What happens to Coyote and the other animals explains the origins of the cosmos in a new children’s book from the University of New Mexico Press, Coyote and the Sky: How the Sun, Moon and Stars Began. Emmett “Shkeme” Garcia relays the traditional tale of his native Santa Ana Pueblo, and illustrator Victoria Pringle’s colorful drawings bring the story to life for young readers.

Coyote and the Sky is available at bookstores or from UNM Press (800-249-7737,

Cool Kids Don’t Bully campaign started in Mescalero and Ruidoso schools

New Mexico Men Against Domestic Violence has initiated a new antiviolence campaign in the schools called “Cool Kids Don’t Bully.” The Mescalero Apache Schools will be the first in the state to display the Cool Kids banner.

The words “Cool Kids Don’t Bully” appear on a three-by-six-foot banner that is personalized with each school’s name. The top of the banner showcases children from all nationalities carrying a friend. A thumbs up insignia encourages all kids to not bully.

The purpose of the banner is to have all of the kids in school sign the banner with a magic marker in support of an anti-bully stance. The cost to add a child’s name to the banner is $1. All kids are invited to participate, regardless of their ability to pay.

In the end, all proceeds are given to the kids so they can decide how to celebrate their school’s Cool Kids Don’t Bully campaign funds—like going on a field trip or having a pizza party.

The first annual banner for this perpetual program will be for the 2006-2007 school year. A new banner will be provided to each school every academic year.

Banners are being supported by local businesses and organizations. The cost to sponsor a banner is $200, which includes your company name on the banner. To date, local sponsors include Aspen Century 21, Schneider-Cook Law Firm, Western Auto, Behr Barn, Wells Fargo, Foxworth Gailbraith, and SKIP Safe Kids ID Program.

There are still several Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs schools awaiting banner sponsors.

To sponsor a Cool Kids Don’t Bully school banner or for further information, call Rick Naylor, at (505) 973-1727.

Chaparral GS Council seeks nominations for Hall of Fame

The Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council is seeking nominations for their 2007 Hall of Fame event honoring women in science, technology, and engineering. Nomination criteria include the following:

• outstanding achievements and accomplishments in her profession
• community involvement
• Girl Scout Promise and Law reflected in nominee’s life
• Girl Scout experience, if applicable

The deadline for nominations is December 15.

Honorees will be announced at the Hall of Fame dinner and silent auction on May 5, 2007, at the Albuquerque Embassy Suites Hotel. All proceeds provide funding for the science, technology, and engineering programs offered to more than forty-six hundred girls in New Mexico and southwestern Colorado.

Nomination packets are available on the Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council’s website at and from their Program/Service Center in Albuquerque at 343-1040. For further information about the 2007 Hall of Fame, contact Jennifer Lowe, fund-development manager, at 343-1040.

Young women fourteen to fifteen years of age are invited to apply to participate in Fair Play, a twelve-day science and engineering camp. Only twenty girls will be selected to participate. For information or an application packet, call the Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council Office, at 343-1040.

Village Academy news

Opening a new charter school is challenging and filled with plenty of hard work, stress-filled weekends, and fatigue. Ask anyone at the dozens of New Mexico charter schools that have been established since 1999.

Village Academy Charter School opened its doors in fall 2006 to serve our local students and families. VACS is pleased to announce the hiring of Pamela Engstrom as our principal, effective this month, to provide administrative and instructional leadership. Pamela has broad experience in special education, educational administration, literacy initiatives, and communications. She also served as the assistant principal at the highly regarded Monte del Sol Charter School in Santa Fe. The new VACS principal is also completing a book with Kathy Wunderlich, a nationally recognized professional in the field of behavior management.

We would like to thank Robin Troup, VACS interim principal, who worked with our governance council to lead the school through a successful opening and its first academic term, as well as introducing her successor to VACS. Robin’s exceptional enthusiasm and dedication helped bring all the elements together to successfully open Village Academy earlier this year.

For the past two years, Village Academy struggled to locate a suitable facility for the school’s operations. We offer our thanks to the First Assembly of God, which helped out for several months prior to current facilities arrangements with Our Lady of Sorrows. The OLOS board has become our first-year “facility angel,” giving our students an interim home until a permanent location in the Placitas-Bernalillo area can be identified.

Public governance council meetings are now held the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows, 301 Camino del Pueblo. Interested individuals are encouraged to attend the charter school’s public meetings to obtain information and offer suggestions. For further information, visit, or e-mail



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