Texico school to update P.E. curriculum

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer The days of dodge ball at Texico Elementary School are done. The game wasn’t doing enough to increase health awareness and fitness among students. One of the first people to notice was school nurse Karen Stevenson, R.N. During annual check-ups, the nurse saw more and more students suffering from […]

School size does matter in testing

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ STAFF WRITER Superintendent Patricia Miller is new to the Fort Sumner school district. But when adequate yearly progress results from the New Mexico Public Education Department reached her desk Monday, and the district received a big AYP thumbs up, she was ecstatic. “There was much hand-clapping and a dance of joy,” […]

Portales schools name leader

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers PORTALES — A former Portales school teacher was named the district’s superintendent on Monday night. Randy Fowler, a field service agent for the Region 18 Education Services Center in Midland, Texas, the past six years, said he worked for the Portales school district for 19 years — from 1974 to […]

Portales names super finalists

Freedom Newspapers Portales school officials Tuesday named five finalists for their superintendent’s position. • David Briseno, principal at La Casita Elementary in Clovis and federal programs director for the district. • Jack Burch, superintendent at Elida schools. • Robert Crane, science teacher at Muleshoe High School. • Randy Fowler, a field service agent for the […]

Candidate: Leadership means empowering others

Editor’s note: This is the fourth of five interviews with the finalists for the Clovis Municipal School Superintendent position: Andy Sweet is a former Clovis High School principal and current Clovis High math teacher. Q: What qualifies you for the superintendent position? A: Nearly 20 years in education, and serving very successfully in a variety […]

La Casita principal believes students should be focus

Editor’s note: This is the third of five interviews with the finalists for the Clovis Municipal School Superintendent position: David Briseno, principal of La Casita Elementary Q: You’ve said you will assist teachers “in the trenches” if you’re named superintendent. Do you feel like you are closer to the faculty of Clovis schools than other […]

Superintendent candidate profiles

Compiled by CNJ staff writer David Irvin David Briseno is principal at La Casita Elementary. He is also federal programs director for the district, where he oversees a little more than $3 million in federal grants per year for the schools. He has spent his entire career — 23 years — in Clovis schools with […]

Clovis names superintendent finalists

Clovis school officials on Tuesday named five finalists for their superintendent’s position. The finalists are: • David Briseno, principal at Clovis’ La Casita Elementary and federal programs director for the district; • Ladona Clayton, assistant superintendent for instruction of Clovis schools; • William Reents, superintendent of Tucumcari schools; • Rhonda Seidenwurm, deputy superintendent of instruction […]

Clovis students taking assessment tests

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer Local school students are in the middle of standardized tests this week, and area principals are trying new ideas to motivate students and provide the best testing environments possible. Students will take standardized-based assessment tests in language arts, reading, writing, math and science for two weeks in sessions that […]

Ross gets the nod as top boss for Clovis schools

Ryan Lengerich: CNJ staff writer In just one 25-minute meeting, one interview with one candidate, no questions from the public and five enthusiastic votes, G.C. Ross was named interim superintendent of Clovis schools. The retired educator of 36 years in the Clovis system will inherit the district from Neil Nuttall, who has been named president […]

Former educator still cares for students

By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor When longtime Clovis educator Sara Mitchell writes a former student she tries to persuade his thoughts away from his current situation. Her letters are positive and light. They focus on subjects that include books they’ve read, politics and positive reinforcement. She tries to refrain from beginning her letters with […]

Teacher feels first day jitters


Kayla Smith, seventh grade literature development teacher at Yucca Junior High School, instructs her sixth period class as they fill out a worksheet Wednesday at the school. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By David Irvin Kayla Smith returned to college at 28 because she wanted to satisfy her desire to teach. On Wednesday, her first day […]

New principal ready for first day

By Ryan Lengerich: CNJ staff writer As schools around the city resume classes this week, high school students will have a different face in the top office. Jody Balch has taken over as principal at Clovis High School. Andy Sweet resigned in late April following a five-year term at the school. Balch spent 12 years […]

School board revamping newspaper policy

By Darrell Todd Maurina Future editors of the student newspaper at Clovis High School won’t face prior review of their articles by the school principal and students will be allowed to produce “an underground student press” if a proposed policy is approved. The new policy — which calls for prescribed time and place distribution rules […]

Search on for bilingual principal

Ryan Lengerich: CNJ News Journal Jarilyn Butler didn’t always speak her students’ language. On snowy days, the former Lockwood Elementary School principal would receive phone calls from parents asking if school had been canceled. Many would ask in Spanish. Butler speaks only English. “I would pick up the phone and it was ‘Habla espanol?’ And […]

Zia students bid farewell to principal


Zia Elementary Principal Mel Mapes receives a present from second-grader Kelsey Knight at an assembly Friday afternoon to honor his recent retirement. CNJ staff photo: Mike Linn. By Jack King: CNJ staff writer About 420 highly enthusiastic first- through sixth-graders filled Zia Elementary’s gym Friday afternoon to raise their voices in praise of Mel Mapes, […]

Clovis High principal resigns

By Ryan Lengerich: CNJ staff writer Clovis High School Principal Andy Sweet announced Friday he will step down at the school year’s end. Sweet will finish this school year as principal and return next school year to teach mathematics at the high school, said Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Jim McDaniel. Yucca Junior High Principal Jody […]

Police Blotter 3/3

Samplings of recent calls received by Clovis-area law enforcement officers, according to reports: Police received two reports on Feb. 25 from the county health department regarding a 13-year-old girl in the juvenile detention center. The girl had a vaginal infection and reported an ongoing sexual relationship with two men, one 18 and the other 22. […]

Mills, Vernon Riley

Vernon Riley Mills Services: Have been held. Vernon Riley Mills, 88, of Albuquerque died Monday, Jan. 26, 2004, at Woodmark Uptown Assisted Living Center in Albuquerque. He was born on Oct. 25, 1915, in Ranchvale, to William and Rosa Lane Mills. He began his career in administration as a teaching principal in Claude in 1937. […]

Portales principal suspended

By Mike Linn A Portales school principal has been suspended for improper distribution of the New Mexico Writing Assessment, a school official said Thursday. David VanWettering, principal of Valencia Elementary, has been suspended for an undisclosed amount of time for distributing the assessment to his teachers too early, Portales School Board President David Brooks said. […]