The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Village Academy Charter School opening delayed until fall 2006

Idalee Vogel

Last month, the Village Academy Interim Governance Council voted to delay the opening of the program until fall 2006, due to continuing challenges in confirming a suitable site to open the school. But the new charter school’s story will have a good outcome, according to Rosanne Eakin, the governance council chairperson.

“It was a difficult decision to make,”said Eakin, “but we reached that point on the calendar when we had to decide if there was enough time to complete all the necessary preparations before launching the program, including a location and building.” Eakin said the council weighed the circumstances and concluded the location was still tentative.

“For the community’s benefit, it is essential this school has the best start we can give it. Formalizing a suitable location has been time-consuming and stressful. But now that we’ve taken off some of the pressure, I truly believe the pieces will fall into place. The council is very much committed to finding the right location and opening the school next year,” she said.

Eakin indicated the council is receptive to receiving suggestions from anyone who may know of a possible location for the new school. Also, she hopes the additional lead time will allow more parents and community members to participate in opening the school. "We're always looking for more volunteers for VACS committees."

Village Academy's Web site,, will be updated regularly 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 added to a follow-up list, send your request to one of these addresses.

Village Academy Governance Council will meet June 1 and June 15 at Village Academy Charter School Administrative Offices, 45 Dusty Trail, in Placitas. Work sessions, which are open to the public, are held on alternate Wednesdays at the same location.


BPS to provide free summer lunch for all school-age children

Under a federal initiative, the Bernalillo Public Schools plans to provide free Seamless Summer Meals for all school-age children, including high school students. There is no registration or fee.

The children are to pick up their own free meals at Rotary Park in Bernalillo and consume those meals at Rotary Park. Meals may not be taken off Rotary Park premises.

Mealtime is 12:00 noon through 1:00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, from June 6 through July 29. No meals will be served on Monday, July 4.

Meals may be purchased for $2.50 by any interested person not eligible for a free Seamless Summer Meal. For further information, call Debra J. Trujillo, coordinator, 867-7802.


Principal Fox promoted to BPS executive director, secondary education

Bernalillo Public Schools has appointed Sharon Fox as the executive director for secondary education. Fox has extensive background in curriculum and professional development. She has served as the Bernalillo High School principal for the past two years and prior to that was assistant principal.


Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Grandparents exchange knowledge, experience, coping strategies, and hope during the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group. Two groups meet in Albuquerque and one in Rio Rancho. There is no fee for support groups or childcare. Please call for the schedule and to register. Please be sure to call 48 hours in advance to reserve no-cost childcare. (505) 243-2551.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren skills-building classes will begin in June, 2005. Please contact Cindy Anderson, Debbie Trujillo, or Sheila Genoni at Outcomes, Inc. at 243-2551 for more information.


Nick Geros of Ms. Fleming's fourth-grade class shows his lemon battery exhibit to Judge Mary Robinson at the Placitas Elementary Science Fair.

Onesimo Archuleta of Ms. Chavez's fifth-grade class shows the differing effects of manure and potting soil on potted-plant growth to Judge Paul Werenko.

Budding scientists at Placitas Elementary

Diane Evanko

On Wednesday, May 11, Placitas Elementary School held their annual Science Fair Open House. The third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students could submit an individual science project for the fair. The kindergarten, first-, and second-grade classes participated by submitting a group or classroom-size project.

The judges for this year's science fair were Paul Arellanes, Mary Robinson, Mark Sommer, Alan Uffenheimer, and Paul Werenko.

There were so many amazing projects at this year's science fair that the judges had a hard time selecting the best of the best. The winners were:


3rd Grade

First Place: Devon Willet-Geis: “Is a bridge made of triangles stronger than a flat bridge?”

Second Place: Ursula Bowers: “We care about the water we drink. Should we care about the water our plants drink?”

Third Place: Mariah Archibeque: “How does your garden grow?”

4th Grade

First Place: Kate Suazo: “Amazing Soap Dish”

Second Place: Ryan Dekle: “Microbes Galore”

Third Place: Andrew Garcia: “From Dirty to Clean”

5th Grade

First Place: Sarah McPhee: “What Flames First?”

Second Place:

Evan Rawn: “Dams”

Third Place: Maija Archibeque: “Got Calcium?”


He shoots; he sc-o-o-o-o-res!

The Sandoval Soccer Club will be registering players for youth soccer every Thursday and one Saturday in June. On June 2, 9, and 30, registration will be at the Bernalillo Recreation Center from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. On June 16 and 23, registration will be at the Enchanted Hills DPS building from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, June 25, registration will be from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Enchanted Hills DPS building.

Bring a picture of your child, approximately passport size, and a payment of either $80 (without uniform) or $102 (with uniform). Checks should be made out to Sandoval County Soccer Club. New players will need to bring their birth certificates.

For further information, contact the club at 771-2045 or 7820 Enchanted Hills Blvd., Ste. A #120, Rio Rancho, NM 87144.


Placitas Library launches book discussions

Anne Frost
Placitas Community Library

Our Thursday, June 2, at 7:00 p.m. a discussion of A Lesson Before Dying will launch our Placitas Talks series. This program is designed to bring our community together to discuss issues of interest.

Placitas Talks will be held on the first Thursday of each month, at 10:30 a.m. (enjoy lunch at the Piñon Café afterwards at 10 percent off.) and 7:00 p.m. at the library.

Please join us July 7, at 7:00 p.m., for “Summer Astronomy without a Telescope,” with Charlie Christmann. Many of you know Charlie from his wonderful Signpost articles about the night sky. His love of astronomy began in West Texas and was fostered during summers on a Wyoming ranch. Living in Placitas has renewed his passion for observing and preserving our night skies. We look forward to a fascinating evening of observation tips and information on identifying moons, planets, bright stars, and satellites.

The Placitas Community Library is delighted to welcome Lynn Sochi to its board. Lynn has great energy and expertise in computers and data processing which will be most helpful as we move towards automating our card catalog. She is already busy helping the Friends of the Library create a database of donors, users, and volunteers. Thanks so much for stepping up to the plate, Lynn.

Other news: The library now has a fax/scanner/color copier.

    New titles at the library

With No One As Witness, by Elizabeth George. Another in the series of New Scotland Yard's Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley mysteries. “The Lynley books constitute the smartest, most gratifying complex and impassioned mystery series now being published.” (Entertainment Weekly)

The Forgotten Man, by Robert Crais. Written by one of the preeminent crime writers today, this book is a spectacular tour de force of suspense and intrigue featuring private investigator Elvis Cole.

Portuguese Irregular Verbs, by Alexander McCall Smith. The author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series has a new character, professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, who is on a constant quest to win respect—a quest that has a tendency to go hilariously astray.

The Placitas Library, at 1 Tierra Madre, in Placitas, is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The library can be reached at 867-3355 or 867-5340.


Camp Invention gets ready for summer

Camp Invention is a week-long nonprofit summer enrichment day camp that fosters creativity teamwork, inventive thinking skills, and science literacy for children entering grades two through six. The camp runs from June 6 through 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Vista Grande Elementary School in Rio Rancho. The cost is $199 for the week. For further information about the program, contact 867-9829,, or


Humanist Society announces h.s. essay winners

The Humanist Society of New Mexico recently announced the winners of its fourth annual high school essay contest. This contest encourages students across the state to research and write on humanist issues. Over two hundred English teachers received application forms for essay submissions by eleventh and twelfth graders. Topics for this year were:

  1. Discuss the dangers of religious extremism at home and abroad.
  2. Should there be a universal obligation for national service?
  3. Trace the history of humanism and discuss its future in the world.
  4. Discuss ways of healing the current political division in the U.S.

Most entries, including the two winning essays, addressed the dangers of religious extremism. Cruz Marbain, of Silver City, was the winner of the first-prize award of $1,000, and the second prize of $250 went to Nikhil Krishanaswamy, of Aztec.

The authors will read their essays at the next formal meeting of HSNM, on Saturday, May 28, at 10:00 a.m. at the UNM Law School, 1117 Stanford NE, Room 2406. The public is welcome to attend.




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