Las Cruces Sun-News/Gannett Foundation Supports LCPSF Teacher Grant Program with a $1,000 Donation

Las Cruces Sun-New publisher, Rynni Henderson, presented the Las Cruces Public Schools Foundation with a $1,000 check from the Gannett Foundation. The donation, accepted by LCPSF Executive Director Betsy Geery and LCPSF Board Member Katy Petermeier, will be used to support the LCPSF Teacher Grants Program.  This program would not be possible without the generous support of community partners like the Las Cruces Sun-News and Gannett Foundation.

To learn more about our Teacher Grants Program visit our website at

El Paso Electric Donates $5,000 to LCPSF Teacher Grant Program

El Paso Electric has generously donated $5,000 to the Las Cruces Public Schools Foundation Teacher Grants Program.

Ricardo F. Gonzales, EPE Director of New Mexico External Affairs, states that “EPE is proud to partner with organizations like yours to meet the diverse needs of or region. You play a vital role in our community, and we support your efforts. Together, we can make a positive difference.”

To learn more about our Teacher Grants Program visit our website at www.

Comcast Donates $18,000 to LCPSF

(Above:) Comcast New Mexico State Director John Christopher presents a check from the Comcast Foundation.

Months after hundreds of volunteers spent a day beautifying the Tombaugh Elementary School campus for Comcast Cares Day, the Comcast Foundation presented the LCPS Foundation with a check for $18,556.30. The donation was based on the total number of people who volunteered for the Comcast Cares Day event and will be split evenly by the foundation and the school, according to LCPS Community Outreach Liaison Brigitte Zigelhofer.

“This donation is the icing on the cake. The monetary support, in addition to the completely transformed campus, is more than I could have ever asked for,” said TES Principal Guillermo Carmona. “I would like to thank Comcast and all of the community members who worked hard to beautify our campus.”

In addition to the donation, Comcast also partnered with Allen Theaters to provide free movie tickets to the classes that brought the most volunteers to the Comcast Cares Day event.

“It’s been a true blessing to work with Tombaugh this past year,” said Comcast New Mexico State Director John Christopher. According to the Comcast website, Comcast Cares Day is the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer event. The Comcast Foundation is the charitable giving arm of Comcast Corporation.

LCPS Foundation Awards Nearly $35,000 in Grants

The Las Cruces Public Schools Foundation has awarded $34,441 in grants to fund 15 innovative,teacher-developed projects which will help provide enhanced educational experiences, in a variety of academic subjects, for nearly 2,300 pre- kindergarten through 9th-grade students.

“This year, thanks to support from our community partners, we were able to fund nearly half of all the grant requests we received,” said LCPS Foundation Executive Director Betsy Geery. “This is a 22 percent increase in number of the grants we funded last year.” As part of the competitive grant process, teachers, either as an individual or as a group, submitted grant
requests for grants up to $1,000 for individual projects and up to $5,000 for group projects. The grant
awards, names of the applicants, each applicant’s school and a description of the grant project are as follows: $5,000 – Jo Anna Singer and team, Las Cruces High School, “Rio Grande River,” a science and English collaboration activity for 9th grade classes to study of the impacts of contamination of the Rio Grande River on agriculture, health, water and wildlife. $4,979 – Susanna Rios and team, Sonoma Elementary, “Todos a Leer!,” a project to conduct parent workshops on retelling and comprehension strategies and send language and age appropriate books home with the parents to share with their children.

$4,994 – Wendy Graham and team, Hillrise Elementary School, “Kinder/5th,” a grant to purchase reading-level appropriate science and social studies textbooks for both Kinder and 5th grade students and create reading buddies to share their texts with each other. $4,050 – Victoria Griffin and team, Zia Middle School, “Literacy Blast-Off,” project to get all 6th grade language arts classes to create articles and video broadcasts about their Challenger Center experiences, by gaining hands-on experience at the KRWG studios. $3,968 – Laura Smith and team, Tombaugh Elementary, “7 Habits: Literacy and Media,” project to incorporate the schoolwide initiative of 7 habits of happy kids into the classroom through literacy and
media projects. $3,740 – Mari Cooke and team, Tombaugh Elementary, “Digitize Me,” project to equip students with iPads in order to have all students create a digital portfolio of their work. This will allow all students to become responsible for their own learning. $1,000 – Patricia Bischoff, Centennial High School, “From Airponic to Ground – Pumpkins,” project to enable the Botany classes to enlarge their airponic tower system and increase their hands-on learning laboratory.

$997 – Glenda McShannon, NMSU Preschool, “Building Robots,” project to allow the preschool class to purchase Cubelet Robot Blocks and conduct inquiry-based learning of robots and robotics. $982 – Lara Lopez, Vista Middle School, “Technology Assistance,” project to provide the resources to enhance the school’s existing hardware through the purchase of accessories to allow greater use of programs and software within the class. $954 – Christopher Sanchez, Columbia Elementary, “Legos for Literacy,” project to purchase Lego Education Build to Express Kits to be used as the foundation for writing, sharing, speaking and listening projects within the classroom, as authentic learning experiences that build students’ writing and storytelling skills. $950 – Anna Suggs, Zia Middle School, “Student-Centered Recycling,” project will include a schoolwide recycling program, student-led by the 6th grade science classes, with project-based learning components embedded within the science curriculum. $910 – Charlene Ortega, Mesa Middle School, “Computer Science,” project will utilize the innovative learning strategy of Ozobots for programming to engage students in their learning and increase student awareness of STEM and computer science careers. $795 – Gabriel Ortiz, Sonoma Elementary, “Legos We Do,” project to purchase Lego We Do kits that will enable students to have hands-on experience with engineering, programming and technology projects.
$570 – Becky Au, Sonoma Elementary, “Build it, Share it, with STEM,” project will utilize Lego Education Build to Express kits in the classroom to help students develop 21st century skills in problem solving, comprehension, communication, creativity and critical thinking. $552 – Amy Lopeman, Vista Middle School, “Chomping Our Way to the Center of the Earth,” The project will allow the students to study the layers and composition of the crust of the earth through hands-on labs, using food items to build and study the layers.

During the past 10 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $200,000 in grants through the competitive grant program. The Foundation is a private, non-profit organization that supports LCPS students and staff, Geery said. One of the major events the Foundation conducts annually is the distribution of the teacher grants.

LCPS Foundation to hold annual Celebration of Excellence in Education Dinner April 24th

LCPS Foundation to hold annual Celebration of Excellence in Education Dinner April 24th at the NM Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
Honorees will include LCPS Teacher of the Year Finalists, National Merit Scholars, National Board Certified Teachers, National Hispanic Scholars, and the Sandra K Nakamura Professional Development Excellence Award
Las Cruces NM, April 4, 2017: The Las Cruces Public Schools Foundation exists to support caring educators that help our children. Each year the LCPS Foundation holds a public dinner to celebrate and honor LCPS teachers and students that have excelled above and beyond in their accomplishments. This year’s dinner will be held on April 24th at the NM Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum beginning at 6:00 pm. Tickets to the dinner are $20 each and can be purchased by contacting Lupita Barrio at 527-6054 or . Sponsorship opportunities and further information on the LCPS Foundation are both available at .
Those honored will be this year’s LCPS Teacher of the Year Finalists, National Merit Scholars, National Board Certified Teachers, National Hispanic Scholars and the Sandra K. Nakamura Professional Development Excellence Award recipients.
Proceeds from the annual dinner fund teacher grants and student scholarships based upon competitive submissions. These funds allow the recipients to undertake learning opportunities not otherwise possible within current public funding.
The dinner is made possible thanks to sponsors that contribute to the LCPS Foundation each year. This year’s sponsors, as of date of release, include:
Title Sponsor
Century Bank
Platinum Sponsor
Mountain View Regional Medical Center
Gold Sponsor
Dean George Mychaskiw, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
Silver Sponsors
The Gregg Martin Agency
Beasley Mitchell and Co.
Michael and Jan Morehead
Joe Bullock, First American Bank
Raymond Greene, VFW Post 6917
Ben and Chris Woods
Bronze Sponsors include more than 20 local businesses and individuals

Those being honored at the dinner include the following:

LCPS Teacher of the Year Finalists
Ashley Cartwright, East Picacho ES
Natalie Goodwin, Las Cruces HS
Rachel Knight, Centennial HS
Rosilyn Skibyak, Las Cruces HS
Terri Stockberger, Valley View ES
National Merit Scholars
Renata Starostka, Centennial HS
Elisa Davidson, Las Cruces HS
Irene Fernald, Las Cruces HS
Tharani Murali, Las Cruces HS
National Board Certified Teacher
Maggie Hornung, Valley View/Desert Hills ES
National Hispanic Scholar Finalists
Victoria Howard, Arrowhead Park ECHS
Elisa Davidson, Las Cruces HS
Adriana Sanchez, Las Cruces HS
Matthew Torres, Las Cruces HS
Ocran Holloway, Mayfield HS
Stephen Jeffries, Mayfield HS
Trevin Reyes, Mayfield HS
Bridget Andersen, Onate HS
Antonio Tabullo, Onate HS
Dr. Sandra K. Nakamura Professional Development Award Recipients
Bernadine Cotton, Tombaugh HS
Christina Parra, Sierra MS
Lisa Ehlers McCuller, Arrowhead Park ECHS

For further information contact Betsy Geery, Executive Director LCPS Foundation at

LCPS Foundation Awards Almost $28K in Teacher Grants

LAS CRUCES – The LCPS Foundation has awarded $27,887 in 35 grants to LCPS teachers and other instructional staff at 18 schools and the LCPS Professional Development Center, Foundation Executive Director Nyeta Haines announced today. Almost $7,000 of that amount came from the LCPS Science Advisor (SCIAD) program, with the stipulation that those funds be awarded to projects for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) projects.The grant awards awarded ranged from $235.90 to $1,000.

The Foundation has awarded nearly $113,000 in teacher grants in the past seven years. This year, the Foundation raised the maximum grant amount from $500 to $1,000.

“We were so pleased with the number and quality of grant applications we received this year,” said Haines. “Providing funding for these outstanding projects helps us fulfill our mission to serve the students of LCPS,” she said.

The projects funded include many literacy programs like a beginning reader book club at Central Elementary School; a learning to read program at White Sands School; JUMP into Reading! At César E. Chávez Elementary; Adventures in Reading at University Hills Elementary; classroom libraries at Sunrise Elementary; and bilingual literacy and classroom libraries at Monte Vista Elementary. More than $13,000 was awarded by the Foundation to help schools build students’ reading skills.

Other grants went for science projects, school gardens and elementary art programs.

A complete list of grant winners, their projects and the amounts they received is below. Foundation checks were awarded to grant winners December 9-13.

For more information, contact Haines at 575.527.5807.