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Remembering Conner Young


Friends, faculty and other students wear Ninja Turtle and green shirts in memory of Conner Young. Photo: S. Schripsema

The La Cueva gymnasium was filled with thousands of students for the annual winter sports assembly. In a special basketball game, the newly created La Cueva Unified Sports team was ready to take the court to face the staff. With the time winding down, the next made shot would win the game. The Unified Team passed the ball around, and finally, it ended up in the hands of the hero that day.

Conner Young drove to the basket, took aim, and hit the layup to win the game for the Unified Sports team. As Young and his teammates made their way off the court, the excitement could not be contained. They had just won their first game of the year. It was visible that each member of the Unified Sports team had an exceptional amount of pride for the game and for putting on a show for the school.

No one was more proud to be a bear and to be in that moment than Young. His grandmother expressed to a crowd of people how he loved coming to La Cueva to see his friends and teachers and be a bear. Unfortunately, the time she spoke to that crowd was at his funeral.

Young passed away on December 22nd over Winter Break after a significant medical episode put him in the hospital. The entire La Cueva community was shocked to hear the news, some before walking into the doors on January 3rd, and the rest, on that day, the day La Cueva students returned from Winter Break.

As students walked into school and down B Hall, a green poster hung over the window of Mrs. Montoya’s room read in bold letters, “We will never forget our friend, Conner Young.” Messages from friends, teachers, and anyone who knew him at La Cueva, were written on the poster. These words showed how much of an impact he made on their lives.

“I’ll never forget what to do if I see a bear and I think a lot of people can thank Conner for that,” one message says. Young’s grandmother mentioned at his funeral that she would always make sure that he knew what to do in that case, and safe to say, Young passed that along to his classmates.

He was passionate about animals and loved his best buddy, his dog, Baloo,” Young’s obituary reads. Donations to the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo, Animal Humane New Mexico, or the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department were asked to be given in Young’s honor instead of flowers at his service. This further showed his love for animals, which included being a big fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

On January 8th, students at La Cueva showed up in green, or TMNT gear, to honor Young. “Knowing I made an impact on the community and showing support just by wearing green feels great,” said La Cueva freshman Faith Marshall. “My only memory of Conner is when he would walk into my class and always be so happy and say hi to everyone he sees and light up the room!”

Eldorado High School wore their blue on January 5th to show their support for La Cueva, setting all rivalries aside. Wearing blue that day was the final piece to the amount of activities the school did to honor Young. “We first started with a school-wide moment of silence in recognition of the student, then our senate made signs and posters to spread the word of wearing blue,” said Eldorado student Rylee Kelly. “It feels heart-warming to know that so many people can join together and become one…



DECA snackbar feeds job skills as well as students


Luca Nobrega, freshman, waits to purchase lunch at the DECA service window. Subway sandwiches, Popeye’s chicken, drinks, chips and cookies make the DECA window an attractive option for student lunches. Photo: S.Schripsema

Snackbar: one word, seven letters, but a lot of work and effort put behind it.  Managed by four students, Marissa Mathias, Sergio Pena, Becca Luten, and me, and supervised by Jensen Baca, we keep a very clean and well managed snackbar.

Every day Becca, Marissa and I go in ten minutes before lunch to meet the Popeyes, Subway and pizza people and also to make brownies and cookies.

After lunch the managers stay to do inventory, restock everything, file paperwork, count registers, count the vault and clean. It goes by pretty fast because we all know our jobs and what has to be done.  It is a lot easier on days when we have 7th period because snack bar is our class, so we have the rest of the day to clean, restock, count money and file paperwork.

Most days two of the special needs students will come in and help us restock. Not only does it help us, but it teaches them some skills and behind the scenes of a store and doing inventory. The help is much appreciated especially when we have two days worth of paperwork and money.

New Activities Director


(from left) Taysear Ali, student body president, Lacee Manus, activities director and DECA faculty, and Katelyn Stidworthy, student body 2nd VP, lead LCHS students and teachers in a US History trivia relay during the Fall Sports Assembly on September 11th. Under Manus’s leadership, the assembly paid tribute to first responders, celebrated USA spirit, and hosted a collection for Hurricane Harvey relief.

This year one of our DECA teachers at La Cueva, Lacee Manus, took on the job of activities director. But, why did she do it? What is she going to do differently for our school? And how are students liking this year’s activities in comparison to last year’s?

Many of us know Mrs. Manus as the person who runs the pizza window or the DECA snack bar at lunch, but now we also will know her as the person in charge of the school’s activities. Manus said she is, “…excited to work with La Cueva this year to help the students bring back school spirit and get our students more excited to be here.”

One of her goals is to reach out to everyone (different groups) at La Cueva and get everyone involved in school activities. She wants La Cueva students to be one unit rather than divided up into groups. Manus feels that so far they “are doing a great job at homecoming with different activities and bringing back the spirit.” She said she’s “super tired” from all the homecoming preparations, but knows she’s going to love being the new activities director.

As activities director, Manus is now in charge of all the school dances and the activities that go along with them. She is also responsible for community service projects and graduation. She hopes that for one of this year’s community service projects LCHS can work with a specific high school in the Houston area that has been affected by Hurricane Harvey to help get them through the year.

Now that we’ve heard Manus’ goals for La Cueva this year, what do the students think? Did this year’s back to school assembly include all the different groups of people at La Cueva? Did this past week (homecoming week) bring back the spirit we’ve all been hoping for?

Junior students Jacob Knighton and Taryn Roe both agree that Mrs. Manus is doing a great job. “I think she’s done an amazing job bringing back school spirit and making it not just about athletics, but all activities,” Knighton said. Roe agreed. “I think there definitely was a lot of school spirit this week and a lot of people have mentioned it to me. A lot of people were involved and the hype was awesome.”

We are all really excited about the new school year and are all looking forward to what Mrs. Manus has in store.