Science fair returns to Los Alamos

The Los Alamos ScienceFest returns with new events, including a free concert by Chevel Shepherd on July 12. This year’s event is themed “Eureka!” and runs from July 9 to14.

Paying homage to Archimedes and his “Eureka!” moment, which occurred in a bathtub, as well as recognizing local ties to Los Alamos’ Bathtub Row, ScienceFest 2019 will be a celebration of the history of science on The Hill, as well as the discoveries that continue today.

Throughout the week, attendees can explore the area’s science history, with guided walking tours from the Los Alamos History Museum or daily, 90-minute Atomic City Van Tours of Los Alamos. For those who wish to explore on their own, they can unlock the secrets of the “Secret City” with a self-guided Spy Tour.

For information on ScienceFest, visit

Highlands introduces teacher education scholarships

The New Mexico Highlands University School of Education is offering $525,970 in teacher education scholarships, thanks to awards from two New Mexico Higher Education Department programs.

In its 2019 session, the Legislature approved $10 million for the Teacher Preparation Affordability Scholarship Act, with Highlands receiving $479,853. Also in 2019, the legislature approved $510,000 for the new Grow Your Own Teacher Act, with Highlands receiving $46,117.

“With both these scholarship programs we want to recruit, prepare and support the next generations of teachers,” said Carmen Lopez-Wilson, deputy secretary for the New Mexico Higher Education Department. “These scholarships will help address the widespread teacher shortage in New Mexico.”

The Highlands School of Education will post applications for the teacher education scholarships online in the middle of July at The scholarship programs begin in the fall semester 2019 and continue as long as legislative funding is available.

New principal at Tesuque Elementary

Santa Fe Public Schools announced last week that Cheryl Romero will be the new principal at Tesuque Elementary School, a K-6 school, for the 2019-20 school year. Romero’s background ranges from kindergarten to 12th grade, having served as a teacher, assistant principal, associate principal and principal.

“Her broad experience will be an asset in furthering Tesuque Elementary School’s strong academic program and creative curriculum, which has allowed students to thrive, and Tesuque’s tradition of ensuring community activities and support,” Superintendent Veronica García said.

Romero began her educational career in Santa Fe Public Schools in 2001 as a special education resource room teacher at Nava Elementary School. She became a special education and contract teacher at DeVargas Middle School in 2003, leaving in 2013 to become a special education teacher at Capital High School. In 2016, she was named assistant principal at Capital and in 2017 became associate principal at Santa Fe High. She served as principal at Amy Biehl Community School, a K-6 school, in 2018 before joining the district’s Human Resources Department.

Romero, a graduate of Capital High, holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from New Mexico Highlands University.

Highlands grad wins water research grant

New Mexico Highlands University geology graduate student Johnson Adio is researching water quality at the Rio Mora northeast of Las Vegas, N.M., thanks to a $6,500 grant from the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute.

Adio’s thesis research focuses on an eight-kilometer stretch of the Rio Mora at the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge.

“The measurements I will take are important because they give a general view of what is going on at the river and how well it can accommodate endangered species of aquatic organisms,” Adio said. “Knowing if and how water quality is changing in response to land use and climate change is imperative, as the quality of water in a system sets the basis for the rest of the ecosystem’s health. Managers at the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge will use my findings to help guide land use decisions.”

Adio, who is from Nigeria, expects to complete his master’s degree in May 2020.

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