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Not Your Average First Day of School

AUSTIN DENTON | SPORTS

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Pro BMX rider flips over football head coach Brandon Back. Photo by S. Schripsema

That’s one way to start off the school year.

Monday morning at La Cueva, students walked into the gymnasium not knowing what the school had up their sleeves for the first day of school assembly. And they walked into ramps, loud music, and BMX bikers getting ready to put on a show.

BMX riders from the team “Bring Your A Game,” sponsored by the Army National Guard, performed various stunts in the gymnasium, including jumping over four students and a biker.  One of their final stunts was a backflip off the big ramp over football head coach Brandon Back, who casually sat on a lawn chair filming the experience happening right in front of him.

Some students weighed in on what they thought about the assembly, and the feedback was positive. “I thought it was pretty cool,” junior Jacob Romero said. “It made the assembly more exciting.”

Sophomore Noah Woisin agreed. “I thought it was really cool,” he said. “We should do stuff like that more often.”

Principal Dana Lee spoke to The Edition, saying this show was in the works since March. “There was no cost to La Cueva for the show and it encourages the right message of ‘Bring Your A Game’ to everything our students attempt.”

The Fall Assembly is scheduled for September 11, 2017.

 

Ms. Easton Named APS HS Counselor of the Year

AUSTIN DENTON | SPORTS

APS’ Director of Counseling Services Vicki Price says a few words about Ms. Easton as she receives the award. Photo Credit to Rachel Ochoa, retweeted by Ms. Debra Chandler.

Debora Easton, the counselor for last names K-O at La Cueva, was awarded the title of APS High School Counselor of the Year for the 2016-17 year this past Friday, as announced by college and career counselor Debra Chandler on her Twitter page.

“Her energy, passion, and commitment to her students is unmatched,” the nomination letter from staff and administration stated about Ms. Easton. “Her positive influence extends well beyond the walls of La Cueva.”

Easton is widely known across La Cueva and the community for her creation of the Athlete Reading Program. “Five years ago, Debbie came into work with an idea. We knew from the moment she started talking that this was going to be something great,” the nomination letter also said about Mrs. Easton. “Over the years, she has worked with hundreds of athletes who have read to over a thousand kids. Her idea has created a positive ripple effect throughout our community.” There were eighteen members of the program this year that went around to different elementary schools across town reading books to kids K-5.

But Ms. Easton is not just known for her impact on the community with the Athlete Reading Program, but for also connecting with every student that walks into her office. “She leaves no stone unturned when working toward student success,” said principal of La Cueva Dana Lee. “Mrs. Easton is goal-oriented, and she instills that motivation in her students as well.” Ms. Lee also said that she loves how Ms. Easton “stands out as someone who maintains a single-minded focus of doing what’s best for kids… always.”

The Edition spoke with Ms. Easton, and she said she is honored to have received this award. “One of the greatest feelings is to be recognized by your co-workers for the daily work you do,” she said. “I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work in a profession that I love.”

Crime Time At La Cueva High

Photos and story by Kelly Collins | Staff Writer

Student analyze the burned car crime scene. The car was from a junkyard, but it was supposed to belong to art teacher Ms. McCoy in the Forensic project.

Albuquerque fire and rescue arrived at the scene of the burning car. This year, the Forensic class crime scene staged at Balloon Fiesta Park. Photo by author.

Students wait in the background to analyze the crime scene while the car burns. Students were hoping it would blow up, but it just burned.

As the end of the year nears, final projects and endless numbers of tests are seen at every corner of La Cueva’s hallways. One project, however, includes more students and staff than just one class. The Forensics project for juniors and seniors comes around once a year and consists of about 130 students working on one goal: to solve a case.

“Last year I did a case based on the SAT.” Every year, Forensic Science faculty Mary Robinson prepares a mock crime scene and case for her students to solve. “I went to the office and asked, ‘how much before a test do the ACT’s get here?’ they said about two weeks. I wondered, what would a student do to get a perfect score? And so I based my crime off of that.” She gets help from her aids to collect lab requests, as if La Cueva is the police department and her students are her detectives.

Junior Tyler Lopez, a ‘Lead Investigator (Detective)’ of a group of three other people, is proud of the group he’s in. “My team is working hard to solve this case and reach our N-game. We’re working to get the best grade we can,” Lopez said.

This year, the case is much different. According to Lopez, “We went to Balloon Fiesta Park. [The City of Albuquerque Fire Department and Police Department] set a car on fire to simulate crime. Then we analyzed the scene and collected evidence.”

Robinson seems to have all of Albuquerque on her side, getting the Fire Department to light an old car on fire, and then put it out. Her students get as close to a real crime scene as you can as a high school student, and learning about crime and science is definitely her passion.

“I love it because every day is solving crimes, logical reasoning, analyzing evidence and finding the facts,” said Robinson. “Each class is different, each year is different. There’s something new every day.”