Tigers, Tigers, Tigers. The spirit of the Los Lunas Schools brought smiling parents, siblings, friends, cheerleaders and baseball players to the meeting of the Los Lunas School Board Tuesday night.
The joyful celebration marked the first night in the school district’s new home and administrative offices.
It began with standing ovations and recognition of elementary, intermediate and high school state science fair winners. Superintendent Danny Burnett called the students “a credit to the community and outstanding individuals.”
Little girls and boys clutched orange and blue balloons as Board Member Art Castillo handed out certificates to honor the uniformly-blonde baseball players of Los Lunas High School. The crowd applauded the players who recently walked away with second place at the state championship in Farmington.
“Is there a high school dress code on hair?” Board President Bob Whorton joked about the Tiger baseball team. All of the players bleached their hair this season. Superintendent Burnett added, “Do blondes have more fun?”
“I saw them play,” Burnett told the crowd. “I could tell these boys were giving 110 percent. I don’t think they got beat. They just ran out of time.”
Burnett had all of the members of the successful baseball team sign baseballs for every person on the school board. “It’s a lasting accomplishment. When you get to be professional baseball players, these balls will be worth a lot of money.”
Tuesday night was also the last meeting for senior Nathan Tooker, who sat on the board all year as the representative from Los Lunas High School.
“You made the Los Lunas Schools known statewide and at a national and international level,” Burnett told the science fair winner. “We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.”
In other action, the Los Lunas School Board:
- Approved a budget adjustment to add $150,000 for cafeteria services. The budget deficit in cafeteria services is larger than $121,000, which was previously allocated. The total is now approximately $270,000. “We won’t be able to move funds,” Deputy Superintendent Bill Moffatt told the board. “We want to make sure we can buy food. We think a revenue increase is happening, but we are trying to build cash in that fund.” The business department will next complete profit-loss analysis at each cafeteria in the district.
- Approved concrete work for the new administration building. “We wanted to get away from grass,” said Priscilla Fernández, assistant superintendent of maintenance and operations.
The two-colored courtyard will include a red brick pattern and grey concrete. “It will be attractive yet usable with planters around the trees and a shaded area,” Fernández said. “It’s a real usable location, especially for evening events, to extend the board room out into the courtyard.”
The focus of the area will be a fountain and plaque donated by members of the community — Ed and Dale Grant, Pete Gallegos of Pete’s Carpet, Appliance and Furniture, and Holliday Fencing. It will be dedicated to the children who lost a parent in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
- Approved the purchase of an audio-visual bundle for the new administration building, using the district’s bond fund. The package includes a powerful projector that comes down from the ceiling, along with wiring control to operate PowerPoint presentations.
“The effective tool will be used to present information without lugging heavy equipment around,” Fernández said. The projector costs $16,000 to install. Whorton said the equipment will be used for training in the board room for administrators and teachers throughout the school district. “We will use it twice a month maybe, at our meetings,” he said.
- Approved purchasing of routing and planning software for the transportation department.
Ross Coleman, supervisor of transportation, said the software will be an effective tool to get things done.
The transportation department will be able to move and manipulate school buses using the unique system. If new families move into area, it will save on cost and time by generating student data and demographic information to let families know the exact bus route for their children.
Annual support and upgrades, as well as training for staff, will come with the Windows-based program.
“It will utilize our entire network in a very nice package, Colemen said. “No one in New Mexico is using it, but over 570 districts throughout the U.S. are. It’s the most accurate, and I’m sure it will be a great asset to our district. I’m satisfied it will work.”