The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Placitas playgroup 1988: Lucas DiGregory, Leah Hay, Noah Stearns,

(l. to r.) Placitas playgroup 1988: Lucas DiGregory, Leah Hay, Noah Stearns,
Alexander Cunningham, Blaire Ramsay, Caitlin Riordan

Rio Rancho High School Senior prom 2004: Noah Stearns, Caitlin Riordan, Blaire Ramsay, Hallie Rossbach, Leah Hay, Garrison Scott, Lucas DiGregory

(l. to r.) Rio Rancho High School Senior prom 2004: Noah Stearns, Caitlin Riordan,
Blaire Ramsay, Hallie Rossbach, Leah Hay, Garrison Scott, Lucas DiGregory.

Congratulations to the Class of 2004

May adventure be around every corner

and your dreams be bright and fulfilled.

You are a light in our lives.

 —Moms, Dads, Sisters, and Brothers


    May you grow up to be righteous

    May you grow up to be true

    May you always know the truth

    And see the lights surrounding you!

    May you always be courageous

    Stand up right and be strong

    May you stay forever young.


    May your hands always be busy

    May your feet always be swift

    May you have a strong foundation

    When the winds of changing shift

    May your heart always be joyful

    May your song always be sung

    May you stay forever young.


     —Bob Dylan, 1973


Placitas teacher to visit Japan on Fulbright program

Andrea Kotowski, a first-grade teacher at Placitas Elementary, has been selected from a national pool of over two thousand applicants to participate in the Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program. She is one of two teachers in New Mexico to earn this honor.

As a member of a group of two hundred educators, Kotowski will begin her visit in Tokyo with a practical orientation in Japanese life and culture and meetings with government officials and educators. The group will then travel in groups of twenty to prefectures outside of Tokyo, where they will have direct contact with Japanese teachers and students during visits to primary and secondary schools and a teachers’ college. They will visit cultural sites and local industries and enjoy homestays with Japanese fammilies.

A total of six hundred educators from all fifty states and the District of Columbia will visit Japan in June, October, and November of 2004. To date, more than four thousand primary and secondary educators have visited Japan through the FMF Teacher Program. Upon their return, the visitors share their experience with their students and communities through a variety of outreach projects.

FMF, sponsored by the government of Japan, was launched in 1997 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the U.S.-government Fulbright Program, which has enabled more than six thousand Japanese citizens to study in the United States on fellowships for graduate education and research. The program is administered by the Japan-United States Educational Commission and the Institute of International Education, the nation’s largest nonprofit educational and cultural exchange agency, which coordinates FMF activities in the U.S.

For educators interested in taking part in a trip to Japan in 2005, applications and information are available at or 888-527-2636. Teachers and administrators of all disciplines, including art, physical education, English, history, geography, math, science, and special education, are encouraged to apply. Previous knowledge of Japanese is not required.


Summer Optimist plans

Maude Linnartz
Optimists de Sandoval

The Optimist Club de Sandoval was thrilled to learn that the Placitas prekindergarten program, which it sponsored, won second place in an international Optimist competition as a model community project. Contact Snow Watson at 867-2047 for additional information about this program.

Hopefully you talked with Optimist Club members at Placitas Appreciation Day. The lemonade, baked goods, and preserves that they sold were delicious. The club’s bike-safety program was also a big success.Many youngsters were able to ensure that their bikes were safe, and some won bicycles in the raffle. Two children were awarded bikes from the Chamber of Commerce for their essays.

The club sponsored “Meet the Candidates” at the Placitas Fire Station drew large crowds, and excellent questions were posed to the potential Republican candidates for State District 22. May’s featured speaker at a regular club meeting was Jim Fish of Anasazi Fields. Members sampled peach, apricot, raspberry, and cranberry wines and learned about the process of fermentation and aging.

The Junior Optimist Club at Placitas Elementary School ended their year with a bowling-party celebration. Children in the club handed in their community-project records.

Summer plans are in full swing for the Optimist Club de Sandoval. Local Optimists are working to establish a special summer literary and arts enrichment program at the new Placitas Community Library. The free program is planned for Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Children from three and a half to seven are welcome (parents should send along snacks). Contact Anna Rutins (771-3082) for details.

The club’s annual Optimist summer camp will take place this year from July 5 through July 9. Trips are planned to Explora and to the Atomic Museums. The children will also participate in arts-and-crafts projects and attend a local swim party.

Members are already organizing to participate in the Relay for Life (August 13 and 14 in Bernalillo). The purpose of the run is to collect funds for cancer research and to celebrate the survival of cancer patients.

The Optimist Club de Sandoval meets at 7:00 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month, usually at the Mission San Antonio Community Center in Placitas. For further information, please contact Suzann Owings at 867-0567.


“Shooting Star Corral” wins contest

A contest was held recently by Diamond Tail Ranch at the Placitas Elementary School to name the soon to be developed private park in the master planned community. This natural area within the first phase of Diamond Tail will offer permanent pads for telescopes and star gazing.

“With over 140 entries, the competition was tough, but the winning name ‘Shooting Star Corral’ was selected,” said Dan Dennison, general manager of Diamond Tail Ranch. The winning entry was submitted by Taylor Evanko, a kindergartner, who received a seventy-millimeter refracting telescope. Second prize, a celestial globe, was awarded to Andrea Perini, a second grader, for the name ‘Diamond Gazers.’ Shanice Bruner, a fifth grader, received the astronomy edition of Monopoly for her third place entry, ‘Herd of the Stars.’ Also receiving recognition and a pizza party was Ms. Griego’s fifth-grade class for the most entries: 100-percent class participation. Dennison was pleased with the enthusiasm and creativity everyone showed at Placitas Elementary in helping to name the park and keeping with the ranch theme of the subdivision.

Taylor Evanko, Andrea Perini, Shanice Bruner,

To the right: (l. to r.) Taylor Evanko, Andrea Perini, Shanice Bruner,
Ms. Christina Werenko—principal Placitas Elementary,
 Dan Dennison—general manager Diamond Tail Ranch




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