The top winners of Placitas Elementary School's
Spelling Bee held on February 12: (left to right) Ms. Camille Chavez
(teacher in charge of Bee); Joshua Mallett (First Place); Abby Spooner
(Second Place); Ryan Suazo (Third Place); Taylor Evanko (Fourth Place);
Izaiah Martinez (Fifth Place); Kelly Hughes (Alternate, not pictured);
Mr. Dan McEachen (Principal of Placitas Elementary School)
5th Grader Joshua Mallett from Placitas Elementary
School took First Place at the Bernalillo Public School's District
Spelling Bee the following day, capturing a win for Placitas Elementary
School two years in a row.
Ten children from Placitas Elementary school won “top-seller”
for the Art in the School’s Blue Sky Images Holiday Fundraiser,
which collected over $3,000 for the Art in the School program at Placitas
Elementary. The grand prize was an H2 Hummer stretch-limo ride to
The Range Café in Bernalillo for a school-day luncheon donated
by the Range.
celebrates newly renovated Placitas Elementary School
Placitas Elementary School had its humble beginnings in the mid-1800s.
The private home of the Armijo family was the site of the first
school in the village of Placitas. For the next several decades,
school was taught in private dwellings. After the turn of the century,
the one-room school was built on a donated piece of property. During
the Depression, a two-room facility was built next to the existing
one-room schoolhouse. This building served grades K-6 until the
school system purchased more land, where the present-day Placitas
Elementary School is located.
On February 28 at 5:00 p.m., Bernalillo Public Schools will hold
a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on site for the most recent
improvement to Placitas Elementary School—the completion of
a lengthy renovation and new addition.
Young people invited to learn football, cheerleading
It’s that time of the year again. The Young American Football
League (YAFL) registrations have begun for the 2008 season in Bernalillo.
The coaches are going to field an eleven-year-old team, and also
are trying to fill an eight-year-old team. Anyone interested in
playing football, cheering, or coaching is invited to contact YAFL
at 883-9309, or Wayne Longley at 319-8808.
Manga artists welcome
—RIO RANCHO PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Rio Rancho Public Library and the National Arts Honor Society
of Rio Rancho High School are currently accepting submissions of
manga artwork for the upcoming teen art show, Manga Expo 2008. Teens
are encouraged to submit drawings, paintings, and 3D pieces such
as comic books and sculpture. Surprise us! Manga Expo 2008 will
be on display in the Loma Colorado Main Library auditorium during
April. Lots of fun events are planned for teens during this upcoming
manga month at the library, such as cosplay at the opening gala
on March 29, an anime film series, and a manga book-swap. Pieces
can be sold, if desired, in a silent auction; a portion of the sale
will go towards purchasing more manga for the teen collection at
the library. Artwork can be turned in until March 15 to Ms. Lea
in the Fine Arts Department at Rio Rancho High School or the librarian
in the Twilight Zone—Teen Scene at the Loma Colorado Library
branch, 755 Loma Colorado Drive NE. For more information, call the
teen librarian, 891-5013 x3031.
ISTE Board of Directors visited Bernalillo Public
Members from the Board of Directors of the International Society
for Technology in Education (ISTE) visited two Bernalillo Public
School (BPS) sites on Friday, February 15. The visit was intended
to lend support in the development of a New Mexico ISTE affiliation.
The visiting board members observed the online curriculum that
is being implemented in New Mexico classrooms. Bernalillo Public
Schools recently started using the Achieve3000 software, a differentiated
web-based instructional program that is proven to accelerate students’
reading and writing skills. The Sandoval County Broadband Project
introduced BPS to Achieve3000.
The visiting members of the ISTE Board of Directors began their
visit at Algodones Elementary School, where they observed students
using Achieve3000. They then traveled to Cochiti Middle School,
where they looked in on a class being taught via video conferencing.
Joanne Beuerle, an AP algebra teacher at Bernalillo Middle School
(BMS), is teaching lessons at BMS that, via video conferencing,
also have students participating at Cochiti Middle School. BPS will
start offering distance-learning courses in the fall of 2008 between
their three middle schools.
Judo offered in Placitas
Recruitment is actively underway for individuals between the ages
of seven and seventy who are interested in being part of the first
Judo club in Sandoval County. Sensei Michael Webb, a black belt
in Judo, a certified instructor of the United States Judo Federation,
a national and international Judo competitor, and a certified law
enforcement defensive tactics instructor, will instruct the classes.
Sensei Webb, founder of Synergy Martial Arts, LLC, has held competitive
Judo classes at the Sandia Judo Club for the past two years and
formed the Rio Rancho Judo Club for children and adults a year ago.
Sensei Webb is also operating the Martial Arts after-school program
at the Star Heights Community Center in Rio Rancho.
Judo is many things to many people. It is a form of physical education,
a martial art, and a sport. It represents a refinement of the ancient
martial art of jujutsu. After years of study under many jujutsu
masters, Jigoro Kano, the founder of Kodokan Judo, discerned the
principals of “Mutual Prosperity” and “Maximum
Efficient Use of Power.” The practice of Judo assists the
practitioner in developing self-discipline and respect for oneself
Judo assists in the development of self-confidence, physical coordination,
flexibility, and power. Additionally, Judo training gives a person
an effective self-defense system if the need arises.
It is anticipated that the club will utilize the Placitas Community
Center. The workout schedule will depend on the response. Anyone
interested can contact Karl Acosta at 771-7075, or Sensei Webb at
410-2436 or 833-2144 for more information.
Jung Tack Oh, Chan David Fritch, and Sung Tack
Oh teaching Tae Kwon Do at the Placitas library’s Lunar New
Happy (Lunar) New Year
—DORIS FIELDS, PLACITAS COMMUNITY LIBRARY
The Placitas Community Library was teeming with excitement from
10:00 a.m. until about 1:00 p.m. during the library’s second
annual Lunar New Year celebration. The celebration, held on February
16, was sponsored by the library’s Children’s Program
and was organized by volunteers Judy and Bob Gajkowski and Doris
Fields. This year, Lunar New Year began on February 7, and extended
its usual fifteen days through February 21. Approximately fifteen
countries celebrate Lunar New Year at this time of year, including
Burma, China, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Bob and Judy Gajkowski developed a community dragon to display
in the Children’s Room. Bob created the dragon’s head,
and Judy collected approximately 350 “hands” that became
the dragon’s scales. Many members of the community, including
students of the Placitas Elementary School, cut out their hand prints
to make impressive dragon scales. “Placi”—dragon
of the Placitas Community Library—will travel to Placitas
Elementary School and live there for a while; later, Placi will
return to the library.
There were at least ten activities for all ages to teach about
Asian cultures and the Lunar New Year, from storytelling for the
very young to Tae Kwon Do demonstrations. Nora Timmons led the children
as they enacted a story, weaving through several rooms in the library
in a dragon dance. The Tae Kwon Do demonstration and lessons were
carried out by Chan David Fritch, Jung Tack Oh, and Sung Tack Oh.
These three accomplished students demonstrated a variety of exercises,
including use of nunchucks and breaking boards. Participants got
an opportunity to practice, and several children were quite successful.
Children also practiced using chopsticks by picking up small pieces
of wrapped candies.
On a large map of Asia, children and adults located and placed
flags on the countries that celebrate Lunar New Year at this time.
In addition, there were games and puzzles to help children learn
more about Lunar New Year and Asian countries. Mrs. Choon Fritch
and Mrs. Jiye Jung wrote participants’ names in Korean calligraphy
on brightly colored cards. Finally, participants took away lots
of memorabilia, including chopsticks, fortune cookies, lanterns,
and Chinese zodiac place mats.
More than seventy people participated in this year’s celebration,
including approximately thirty children. Participants ranged in
age from toddlers to teens to elders. With all of the activities
and excitement, Lunar New Year came alive for everyone who participated.
Placiteños are encouraged to visit “Placi” and
check out a few books and videos, too.
Library building project begins
—ANNE FROST, CO-DIRECTOR, PLACITAS COMMUNITY LIBRARY
The Placitas Community Library (PCL) Board and Building Committee
will have its first meeting with Allison Abraham, the lead architect
from SMPC in late February or early March. In order to create the
most beautiful, functional, and green building for this community,
we are asking for your help and input during the upcoming programming
and design phases of this project.
The new library will be constructed in two phases. Because most
of the infrastructure for both phases will be installed during the
first phase, this initial phase is much more costly per square foot.
In order to maximize the usable space in Phase I, the board is seeking
the financial support of many local businesses, foundations that
are supportive of library building campaigns, and local citizens.
One generous local PCL supporter has given $53,000. This will allow
us to almost double the size of the Community Room. Don’t
let the big numbers put you off. Small donations are just as important.
We need every penny any of us can contribute to increase the level
of service the library can provide and to ensure that the library
is energy-efficient, as well as beautiful.
The library has received a wonderful donation of about two hundred
audio books, both cassettes and CDs. Many of these are very current
titles. If you have a long drive to work or like to listen while
you work out, please stop by and check these out. Many thanks go
out to the Olsen family for this generous donation.
In the next few days, a new feature will appear along Highway 165
near the main fire station. Look for our beautiful hand-painted
sign announcing the location of the new Placitas Community Library
building, to be constructed in 2009. Placitas artist Meg Leonard
has donated her time and abundant talent to create this beautiful
landmark. The board deeply appreciates the work done by Meg and
by E.T. LaFore, who constructed the sign. The board is also grateful
to board members Gail DellaPelle and Wayne Sandoval and friends
for all their help with the sign project and installation.
EVENTS AND HOURS:
• The Library book group meets at 4:00 p.m. on the first
Monday of the month. March title: 1491, by Charles Mann; April title:
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, by Gregory McGuire. Call 867-3355
to verify date and location.
• Preschool story time: 10:00 a.m. Thursday, March 6: “Rabbit
Tales: True & Imaginary.”
• Bilingual story hour: 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 19 and
April 15. Please note new day for the bilingual story time for ages
two through ten.
• Library hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, 10:00 a.m.
to 4:00 p.m.; Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Visit us at 1 Tierra Madre, call us at 867-3355, or visit our website