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NM School for the Arts students awarded in statewide competition

—Emily Wolf

The New Mexico School for the Arts is pleased to announce NMSA violinist Maggie King and LAHS pianist Presley Gao received first place in the 2016 Jackie McGehee Young Artists’ Competition for Piano and Strings. The panel of awardees also included second place winner NMSA cellist Sam Barrett and NMSA violinist Hanna Zercher who received honorable mention. All students are mentored by NMSA teachers (violinist Kerri Lay, cellist Carla Lehmeier-Tatum, and pianist Jacquelyn Helin).

NMSA provides access to a rigorous mastery arts and academic high school education for youth with passion and aptitude in the arts.

Optimists celebrate outstanding youth

—Suzann Owings

“We are very proud to carry on the tradition of educator and Optimist Israel ‘Izzy’ Juarez in our Keep Up the Good Work Awards, on March 8, at Carroll Elementary School,” Venus Sanford announced.

Optimist Michelle Bane invited the teachers and administrators at Algodones, Bernalillo, Carroll, and Placitas elementary schools and Bernalillo Middle School to nominate their students who have improved remarkably during this school year. Ms. Bane also is a social worker at Bernalillo Middle School.

“Each year we hope to increase the number of schools participating,” said Ms. Sanford, Coronado Optimist Club’s charter member and Treasurer. In 2015, awards were made to students from Bernalillo and Carroll elementary schools.

The Coronado Optimist Club’s program is crafted after Mr. Juarez’s model, which recognized students who had improved in some way—attendance, homework, behavior, and individual performance.

In 2015, Mr. Juarez was able to attend COC’s first Izzy Juarez Keep Up the Good Work Award just months before he died. Izzy Juarez was a life member and former president of the Northwest Optimist Club in Albuquerque, and an Albuquerque Public Schools’ elementary school principal.

After the Izzy Juarez Awards at Carroll Elementary School March 8, the Coronado Optimist Club will again meet at at the Bernalillo Range Café on April 12, at 6:00 p.m. Community members are welcome. For further information, contact Snow Watson at 867-2047, and visit the Coronado Optimist Club’s website at

The annual Pinewood Derby is alive and well with Cub Scout Pack 708.

Cub Scouts race to District Derby

—Suzann Owings

“The winners in our Pack’s Pinewood Derby will race in the District-wide competition on March 5,” says Pack Master David Gardner.

Going to District are Tiger Den’s top three winners Noah Bane, Samuel Alumbaugh, and Samuel Alumbaugh. Wolf Den will send Angel Barber and Ryan Myers. Bear Den’s Mikey Bane, Noa Sanchez-Ravey, and Diego Vigil will compete at District. Colin Quintana and Elijah Barber will represent the Pack’s Webelos at the District’s Pinewood Derby.

“Our scouts will be very busy this month, with challenging weekly meetings and helping with the Bike Safety Rodeo,” says Snow Watson, the Coronado Optimist Club’s Scout Liaison.

Instead of a regular pack meeting on March 16, the whole Pack will participate in a Campfire Cookout. The scouts will put together, cook, and enjoy campfire foil dinners, and run an obstacle course.

The following weekend, Pack 708’s scouts will assist at the Coronado Optimist Club’s Bike Safety Rodeo at Rotary Park, from 10:00 to noon.

The scout’s pack meeting on March 23 will include swimming and pizza.

Pack 708’s meetings are held at the LDS Church Center in Bernalillo, west of I-25’s Exit 240. The weekly meetings occur 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., on Wednesdays. New scout members always are welcome in the Pack. Planning meetings with parents are held on the month’s fourth Tuesday.

For further information about the Cub Scouts, contact David Gardner at 867-4689 and/or Snow Watson, Coronado Optimist Club’s Scout Liaison, at 867-2047.

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