An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Placitas Elementary recognized as “exemplary school”

Every year, the New Mexico Department of Education ranks schools across the state, rating them from probationary to exemplary. Schools are ranked by the state Accountability Program. They are rated on dropout rate and attendance, parent and teacher involvement, student achievement, and safety. Placitas Elementary received a ranking of “exemplary”—the highest state ranking—for 2000-2001. The Bernalillo Public School District held a luncheon for the Placitas staff in order to recognize their new rating. Principal Kennie Warren received a red rose as part of the celebration.

HeadStart offers effective parenting tips

The month of April was Child Abuse Prevention Month and Presbyterian Medical Services Sandoval County HeadStart campaigned to promote the awareness of the problem within our communities.They sent the Headstart students home with blue ribbons and informational flyers printed on blue paper to offer child-raising skills to parents. These included everything from children’s emotional needs to home medical care to tips on disciplining.

Some parenting tips included:

 Look your child in the eye when you speak to him. Bend or sit down, becoming he child’s size. Gently touch your child before you talk, say his name.

 Practice listening. Give your child complete attention when she wants to talk to you. Don’t read, watch TV, fall asleep, or make yourself busy with other tasks.

 Describe don’t evaluate or judge your child. Instead of saying “you clumsy kid, you just fell off the swing again,” say “you lost your balance, we need to work on learning balance.”

 Teach your child to listen. Have him tell you what he heard when you said something. Model this behavior by telling the child what you heard when he says something to you.

 Speak in a calm, quiet voice, whispering sometimes so your child has to listen. Turn off the TV or radio.

For questions regarding this program, call PMS Health and Nutrition Coordinator Michelle Hafenrichter at 867-3375. To report instances of suspected child abuse, call 800-252-5400.

BHS dance/drill team scores at regional competition

Nine Bernalillo High School Dance and Drill Team members, led by this year’s dance captain, Sarah Calbert, and coaches Vera Dillard and Stella Hokanson, participated at the American Dance/Drill Team Regional Competition in Santa Fe in March. Representing BHS this year were Sarah Calbert, Sarah Acosta, Bagrielle Bird, Brenda Garcia, Cyndi Manzanares, Joan Rodriguez, Leva Rosetta, Pearl Salazar, and team manager Jeslyn Rosetta.

The team placed first in Hip Hop and second in Pom, returning home with a Division I Superior Trophy. The team has represented their school and community well at this competition in the past as well receiving Best in Class in 1997 and 1999 and second place in Pom in 2000. In 2001 they received a first place in Hip Hop and for the first time were represented in the solo competition by then junior Rosa Salaiz who placed third in the high school division.

Spring tryout dates will be announced soon. Interested students must have a current sports physical and GPA of 2.0 or higher to be eligible. All BHS students who love to dance and work hard and will make a commitment to academics and the team are welcome to attend.

Ryan Mortensen, Algodones, wins USAAaward

The United States Achievement Academy has announced that Ryan Mortensen, son of Dean and Janice Mortensen and grandson of Bill Mortensen, Bessie and Leo Gonzales, and Jimmy and Theresa Baldonado—all of Algodones, New Mexico—has been recognized as a National Leadership and Service Award winner. Ryan’s mother, Janice Mortensen, is the director of the Placitas Community Center. Ryan attends Bernalillo Middle School.

The USAA National Leadership and Service Awards program provides students with many benefits and services and is a great tribute to a student’s dedication, talent, and ability. “Recognizing and supporting our youth is more important than ever before in America’s history. Certainly, United States Achievement Academy winners should be congratulated and appreciated for their dedication to excellence and achievement,” said Dr. George Stevens, executive director of the United States Achievement Academy.