Photo Caption: Dr. Wendi Miller-Tomlinson, top, hosts a virtual ceremony honoring 80 LCPS seniors who announced which colleges and universities they will be attending in the fall. Miller-Tomlinson was joined by Sra. Maria Flores, Vice President of the LCPS Board of Education, and five area high school principals.
Kelly Jameson, PIO for Las Cruces Public Schools provides the weekly update on distance learning in the district. Wrapping up the end of the regular school year under unusual circumstances hasn’t impeded progress. Students and families can qualify for additional food assistance. Graduation commencement ceremonies are still in the works as Public Health Orders will allow, and celebrating amazing students making their mark this year. Hear the full update here-
Las Cruces Public Schools hosted a virtual ceremony Wednesday evening honoring 80 graduates who have made commitments to post-secondary education following graduation. The event, now in its sixth year, was made available to the public via live stream due to restrictions under New Mexico’s COVID-19 public health order.
The Academic Signing Day ceremony recognizes the academic achievements of seniors much like college signing days for athletes. Each high school was invited to nominate up to 15 seniors who demonstrated academic excellence and exemplary character to serve as Academic Ambassadors of their schools as they move on to college.
Maria Flores, Vice President of the LCPS Board of Education, attended the virtual ceremony, along with five principals from the high schools each senior represented: Gabriela Alaniz, Arrowhead Park Early College High School and Arrowhead Park Medical Academy; Susie Hendee, Centennial High School; Michelle Ronga, Las Cruces High School; Eric Fraass, Mayfield High School; Jim Schapekahm, Oñate High School, and Rebecca Rodriguez, Rio Grande Preparatory Institute.
Dr. Wendi Miller-Tomlinson, who launched the recognition ceremony in 2015, hosted the event and began with a short address.
“You are already making history,” noted Miller-Tomlinson, Deputy Superintendent for Teaching, Learning and Research. “In previous years (during this event), I tried to give advice on what to expect in college. Right now, I don’t know if you’ll get to live in a dorm with someone you’ve never met, or experience parking tickets or cafeteria food. Whatever your experience is, I know you’ll be ready for it.”
Principals were also given an opportunity to address the students, each agreeing that the Academic Ambassadors ceremony is one of their favorite events of the school year.
“You are all a beacon of the academic excellence that we all represent here at LCPS,” said Rebecca Rodriguez, principal at Rio Grande Preparatory Institute.
“I wish I could be there with you to shake your hand,” added Eric Fraass. principal at Mayfield High School. “But these are the times we live in.”
The 90-minute program individually recognized all seniors by school in alphabetical order. Each student was invited to wear a t-shirt, sweatshirt or ball cap representing the college of their choice. Selections included New Mexico State University, Doña Ana Community College, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of New Mexico, New Mexico Military Institute, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Western New Mexico University, Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, Hamilton College, Jackson State University, Baylor University, the University of Denver, San Diego State University and the University of Alaska at Anchorage.
“This is an amazing tradition that honors graduates in a special way,” remarked LCPS Superintendent Dr. Karen Trujillo after watching the live stream of Wednesday’s event. “I am happy we were able to continue this in a new and innovative way.”
As Academic Ambassadors, students will receive a certificate of achievement and a medal to honor their distinction.