The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Lynn Rounds, PES principal Christina Werenko, Cyndi Krattiger

Left to right: Lynn Rounds, PES principal Christina Werenko, Cyndi Krattiger. Lynn and Cyndi, along with Carrie McPhee (not pictured here), are the parent volunteers spearheading the staff lounge project.

Grateful parents redecorate PES staff lounge

—Signpost staff

Several parents of graduating fifth graders at Placitas Elementary School have showed their appreciation by painting and collecting nearly $1,000 to redecorate the PES staff lounge. Lynn Rounds, Cyndi Krattiger, and Carrie McPhee spearheaded the project.

The once dreary grey lounge is now done in elegant ivory, thanks to a contribution from Home Depot facilitated by assistant manager Sal Romero. The Placitas branch manager of First State Bank took Rounds on a “shopping trip” at the bank warehouse and brought back a solid wood desk and several nice chairs.

Thanks to the donations, funds were available to purchase end tables, lamps, and prints set in window frames that give the impression of mountain views.

“We wanted to leave a lasting show of thanks to the teachers and entire staff that helped nurture our kids through elementary school,” said Rounds. “We still have a wish list that includes lamps, a sturdy table, tile for the kitchen area, two freestanding cabinets for the restrooms, a nice wall clock, mirrors, etc.” Community members can contact Rounds about donating furniture by calling 867-1568.

Monetary donations can be sent to the PTO, earmarked for the staff lounge renovation, at PES, 5 Calle de Carbon, Placitas, NM 87043.


Placitas Elementary principal Christina Werenko “bends over backwards” for her students.

Placitas students pack it in before summer

Diane Evanko
Placitas Elementary School

The students of Placitas Elementary School had no time to relax before their summer vacations. Their last month of school was nothing but busy—finishing up all the academics, as well as squeezing in as much fun as possible with several extracurricular events. The final month kicked off with the fifth-grade dance on April 29. Fun was had by all—even our principal, Christina Werenko, showed off her great limbo technique. She really “bends over backwards” for her students!

Next up, on May 4, was the Spring Fiesta, an incredible dancing extravaganza. Then on May 9, there was a school-wide field trip to an Isotopes game. Everyone had a “ball”! On May 11, the school hosted its annual science fair. Placitas should be proud of all the budding scientists in the community.

The fifth-grade band members performed with the other four fifth-grade bands in the district at the Bernalillo Middle School Music Open House on May 12. They all also had the opportunity to perform with the sixth-grade band members at the same event.

The fifth graders are graduating from Placitas Elementary and they went on their own special field trip. This year the trip was to Carlsbad Caverns on May 19-20. All the students and the parents who made the trip had a fabulous time seeing the spectacular caverns.

The last week of school was also full of activities. On May 25, the kindergartners had their “moving-on” ceremony, which was a very special time for the little ones and their families to celebrate the growth they all experienced in their first full year of school.

Then, on the 26 and 27, the students were able to really show off their talents! First was the field day—a little bit cloudy and windy at the start but did clear up enough for everyone to get plenty of sun. I'm not sure who was more worn out, the students or the parents who volunteered that day. Next up was the talent show. There were so many wonderful performers. Keep your eye out for some of them on American Idol!

The end of the school year always brings a combination of fun, excitement, and sadness for students. Fun while making it through the year with their friends, excitement when looking forward to their summer vacations, and sadness when thinking about the people who were so important in their lives that they won't be seeing for a while.


Bernalillo—first in state to offer Dual-language Pre-K

Bernalillo Public Schools recently was awarded a grant for a Pre-K Program for 4-year-olds. This program is a partnership with the district Even Start Program at Roosevelt Elementary School in Bernalillo. The goal of the preschool program is to provide the readiness skills for kindergarten with the added advantage of fostering bilingualism (Spanish-English). Students in this program will be taught using the 90/10 Model, which means that 90% of the time will be taught in Spanish and 10% in English. This program will feed into the existing dual-language program at Roosevelt Elementary School (K-2) and continue at Carroll Elementary School (3-5). The program has space for five participants from the Placitas community. If you are interested in this great opportunity for your child, please contact Anna Torres at 867-7870.


Football camp teaches skills to kids

Local football and driving coach Al Guadagnoli is bringing the Big Three Football Camp to Albuquerque. The three-day camp, for ages six through fourteen, teaches offense, defense, and special team skills, and costs $35. There will be guest speakers, including Rocky Long. The camp also offers tee-shirts, snacks, fruit, and Gatorade.  To register, players can contact Coach Al at 771-8334 or 573-1824 up to 8:00 a.m., July 12, when the camp begins, at  Albuquerque High School,  800 Odella Road.


Charter school council working towards 2006 launch, invites public participation

Rosanne Eakin
Chairperson, VACS

The Village Academy Charter School Governance Council is extending an enthusiastic invitation to community members and parents who want to help open a new middle school next fall serving grades six, seven, and eight.

Last month the governance council devoted considerable time to discuss the factors that prevented the school from opening this year as originally planned. Now the council is formulating new strategies to secure a facility and establish the academic program by fall 2006.

Council members welcome input from parents and others who want to participate in any capacity, whether on the governance council or a committee. Interested individuals are encouraged to attend the charter school’s weekly public meetings.

Village Academy's Web site,, will be updated regularly beginning in July, regarding the school’s progress. Enrollment information will be available after January 2006.

The Village Academy program emphasizes the Core Knowledge Curriculum, small classes, personal attention, and family involvement. If you are interested in information about student participation, the academic program, and how VACS can address your child's needs, write to Village Academy Charter School, P.O. Box 1247, Placitas, NM 87043-1247, or e-mail If you would like to be on a follow-up list, send your request to the above mailing or e-mail addresses.

Arrangements have been made with San Antonio Mission to hold Village Academy Governance Council Meetings and work sessions at the Mission Community Center. The regular July 6 public meeting will be held at the new location, as will all subsequent meetings, until further notice. The Village Academy Governance Council will meet July 6 and July 20. Work sessions, which are open to the public, are held on alternate Wednesdays at the same location.


National contest to recognize Hispanic youth leaders

Allstate Insurance and the National Council of La Raza are recognizing Hispanic youth who are making a difference in their communities with the launch of the Líderes de Hoy national essay contest, which will award ten Hispanic leaders a $5,000 academic scholarship.

“With nearly half of all Hispanics in the United States under the age of twenty-five, young Hispanics are a primary source of new leaders,” said Janet Murguia, NCLR president and CEO. “With the launch of Líderes de Hoy, we are recognizing the many young Latinos who are exemplary in their leadership and dedication to both their own educational success and the empowerment of their communities.”

To participate in the essay contest, students can visit and download contest materials, rules, and guidelines. Applicants must be legal residents of the United States, full-time high school students of Hispanic descent between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, and have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Entries must be received by Friday, July 29. Winners will be invited to participate in the Líderes de Hoy awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., in commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month in September.

Essays will be judged on the basis of the entrant’s commitment to the community, exemplary leadership individually or within a group, and commitment to continued involvement in the community and civic affairs.


Hoop It Up in Albuquerque

The Annual Hoop It Up 3on3 basketball tournament will take place in Albuquerque on Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24, 2005, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The outdoor location, coupled with music, games and other activities will allow for a unique and energized tournament and the opportunity for participants to qualify for the World Championships hosted by Disney’s Wide World of Sports® Complex in Florida. All ages and abilities are invited to register at or call 1-888-618-7108. Deadline to register is July 18 at 5:00 p.m.




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