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Dear Friends of Sandia Prep,
Fall is my favorite season in New Mexico. The air is crisp, and the low light in the sky creates a feeling that is calmer and less harsh. This time of year brings homecoming celebrations, a tradition of welcoming back the alumni of a school. Our Sandia Prep Homecoming includes activities for our students, their families, and alumni who are able to join the current school family at sporting and cultural events. In the United States, the tradition of homecoming dates back to the 19th century, when it originated with alumni participating in football games at colleges and universities. What a wonderful way to celebrate the loveliness of the fall season!
As we celebrated our Sandia Prep Homecoming a week ago, I became interested in remembering how Sandia Prep's traditions began and how our Homecoming celebration has evolved. While reading Constant Possum: The History of Sandia Preparatory School, I began to look for stories about the start of Homecoming at Sandia Prep. While I did not quickly find references to Homecoming, I did come across a story about the beginning of the Lions versus the Unicorns. In 1933, the second year of Sandía School’s existence, the eighteen students (all girls) formed two athletic teams and began intramural competitions. After much discussion, the girls chose permanent team names based on the famous quarrel in Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass. Originally, the Unicorns were orange and brown, like the turning leaves in fall, while the Lions chose green and white, a reflection of spring. The Lions took an early lead, only to eventually lose to the Unicorns this first year of competition. Little did the girls know that this would become a school tradition that would grow and change over the coming decades.
In the early years of the School, Lion & Unicorn Day was held in both the fall and the spring and the tally from these competition days was counted at the end of the year, leading to a declaration of Lions or Unicorns as that year’s winner. Later, during the 1980s, Lion & Unicorn Day was held only in the fall on the Friday of Homecoming week.
Moving forward to 1970s, the School joined the “collection of a million” trend. Students gave pennies and declared them Lion pennies or Unicorn pennies. For more than fifteen years, two large jars stood on the front desk’s counter for collecting these pennies. The number of pennies became part of the Lion & Unicorn competition and was part of the final tally that day. When the goal of one million pennies was reached, the $10,000 was given to the fund to restore the Youth in the Desert statue, also known to us as the Desert Maiden statue. When I first came to Sandia Prep, this statue was in our Quad; it now resides back in Socorro at New Mexico Tech.
Pete MacFarlane remembers Homecoming 1977 when he started at Sandia Prep as a Physical Education teacher. The School had recently gone co-ed. Initially, games were held in soccer for boys and field hockey for girls. As the school’s fall sports program grew, the Homecoming event expanded to include games on Friday and Saturday. The Homecoming lunch consisted of hot dogs cooked by Coach MacFarlane for the visiting Santa Fe Prep athletes. This tradition grew over the years into a hamburger/hot dog/veggie burger cookout that our School’s parents put on each September for everyone attending Homecoming.
In the beginning, the events of Lion & Unicorn Day were mostly competitions between grades. The Tug-Of-War is a remnant of those times. There used to be basketball games between faculty Lions and faculty Unicorns, as well as softball games between grade-level student teams. One year, there was an art competition to see whether the Lions or Unicorns sculpted the best mascot.
For about ten years, ending in the 1990s, our School held a Friday night bonfire and grade-level skits for Homecoming in an area near the north parking lot, now near the obelisk for the Dick Heath Sports Complex. The bonfire event was coordinated by students and could be as simple or elaborate as they chose. For example, the bonfire may have been started by firing a flaming arrow into it. The Parents Association supported the skits and activities of Spirit Week by offering a monetary prize to the class deemed to show the most school spirit through the competitions during Spirit week and the bonfire.
The first Ben Kivitz Soccer Tournament was held during Homecoming 2009. The tournament was named for Sundevil Ben Kivitz ’05 who passed away in December 2008 and who was the Boys Varsity Soccer goalie from 2003-2005. Each year, the Sandia Prep community honors Ben’s memory during our Homecoming festivities.
Another tradition that has continued for decades during Spirit Week is that of Dress Up Days, established by the members of the Student Government Association. Notable days have included Twin Day, Heroes Day, Crazy Hair Day, Decades Day, or Dress Like Your Favorite Teacher Day. This year we celebrated with Pajama Day, Yacht Club Day, USA Day, grade-level Color Day and of course, Lion & Unicorn Day. Colors have changed from those initial years in the 1930s, with Lions now wearing red and Unicorns blue. There are so many more stories to share and I hope we all can continue to pass the stories down through many more decades.
The results are in for Homecoming 2014: This year's winners were the Lions; and our Sundevils had a great weekend of competition. Our girls varsity soccer team took second place in Homecoming competition; the boys varsity soccer team took third place; and varsity volleyball won first place. The boys JV soccer squad beat Bosque; our boys C team defeated Bernalillo; our C team volleyball team lost to Belen; and the JV volleyball team beat Belen. In Middle School play, our 6th grade red volleyball team lost to Hope; our 7th grade blue volleyball team beat Hope; and the 8th grade blue volleyball team beat Hope.
Here’s to another fun celebration next year. I look forward to the fall of 2015 for the next Homecoming adventure!
Interim Head of School
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Thanks to everyone who responded during the Annual Fund Phonathon on September 22 and 23! Parent participation is at 20% and growing every day. Our iGive 2014-2015 Annual Fund is off to a terrific start!
Members of our Board of Trustees and parent volunteers spent two evenings reaching out to those in our Sandia Prep community to solicit support for this year’s iGive 2014-2015 Annual Fund. Our Phonathon parent volunteers were Jennifer Caffrey, Vicki Gale, Darby Gill, Lisa Godin and Becca Holmes. Thank you!
You may find the following information helpful; here are answers to some frequently asked questions from the Phonathon:
Why do I need to contribute to the Annual Fund; isn’t tuition enough?
- The Annual Fund is a necessity at most independent schools. Tuition alone cannot fund the entire cost associated with a private education.
- The Annual Fund helps reduce the operating budget, which helps keep tuition as low as possible.
- Sandia Prep applies for several local and national grants to support the Annual Fund.
Why doesn’t Sandia Prep just raise tuition?
- Tuition is determined based upon the school’s operating costs, salaries and benefits, maintaining its facilities and keepings its resources comparable and competitive with other independent schools.
What is the Annual Fund used for?
- Faculty and staff development
- Classroom technology
- Outdoor leadership programs
- Drama and music programs
- Sports uniforms
- Other needs as determined and requested by teachers and staff
How much should I give?
- Gifts are based upon what is meaningful to you and your family.
- Gifts range in size from $5 to more than $25,000.
- Gifts can be given in one lump sum or can be paid monthly — whatever works best for you and your family.
Why is participation by Sandia Prep families and alumni important?
- High participation rates in the Annual Fund are a vote of confidence in Sandia Prep and its mission.
- The participation percentage has a direct impact on gifts from outside sources like foundations; participation rates are often requested on grant applications.
Please visit sandiaprep.org/giving/makeagift to make your donation. You may also send your donation in the envelope provided in the Annual Fund mailer. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Roxanna Caird at 338-3029 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your contributions to Sandia Prep!
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Parents and Students: Please remember to observe all traffic regulations and speed limits when driving on and near our campus. Remember: the speed limit on El Paraiso is always 25 mph and during School Zone hours (dropoff and pick-up periods), the speed limit on Osuna Road is also 25 mph. Thank you for helping to keep our neighborhood and campus safe!
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If you have a student currently attending Sandia Prep, and another child who will be applying to attend SPS next year, take advantage of our First Choice plan. We offer this special application privilege to families who have decided, after careful consideration and evaluation of all options, that Sandia Prep is their first choice. Consider the benefits of applying First Choice:
- Your child will be considered with a smaller pool of applicants before the general pool.
- You will receive an admission decision by early December and will avoid the stresses of applying to multiple schools and waiting for a decision until April.
- Your child will get to participate in a special event (in January) welcoming and celebrating our newest Sundevils!
This option is available to those with students applying for any grade (6 through 12) at Sandia Prep for next fall. If you’d like to apply First Choice, complete an online application, schedule a visit day, and plan to attend early November admission testing at Sandia Prep.
- Online application available (www.sandiaprep.org/admission)
- School visits begin October 1
- First Choice Admission Testing: Saturday, November 8, 9:00-11:00 a.m. @ Sandia Prep.
- All application materials and school visits must be completed by November 14.
- Admission decisions mailed December 5.
If you have any questions about First Choice admission for your child, please contact the Admission office at 338-3007 or email@example.com.
We look forward to meeting our future students this October!
Laura Fitzpatrick Director of Admission
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The summer allergy season is almost behind us! Now it is time to prepare for fall and winter. To make this season healthier for you and your children, Sandia Prep's Certified Athletic Trainer and Physical Education Chair Cathy Reed suggests these preventive measures this flu season:
- Get rest and good nutrition.
- Wash hands. (Hand sanitizers have been placed throughout school.)
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Please encourage your children not to share water bottles or other drinks, to avoid spreading germs.
If your child is coughing uncontrollably or has a fever, please keep him or her at home and check their temperature.
If you are called to pick up your child for illness or an injury, please stop by the security office out front and check in with Lawrence and/or Leonard. They will tell you where to park to pick up your child.
Ms. Reed is in contact once again with the director of the SKIIP (School Kids Influenza Immunization Program) to bring the flu vaccine to students here on campus. This program is a state funded grant and will be available free of charge to all enrolled Sandia Prep students. Both the mist and the injection forms of the vaccine have been requested (for those students who have asthma.) More information will be sent as soon as this is scheduled.
On another note, if your child has any specific injury or illness of which Ms. Reed is not be aware, or if he or she has been diagnosed with something recently, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Please join us for the SPS Music Department’s first concerts of the year!
Chorus Concert: Tuesday, October 7 @ 7:00 p.m. / McCall Family Theater
Sandia Prep’s combined choruses, under the direction of Darby Fegan, and accompanied by Kristen Daugherty, will perform a variety of music, including seasonal songs about fall, songs from Africa and Spain, and popular Broadway standards.
Instrumental Concert: Wednesday, October 8 @ 7:00 p.m. / McCall Family Theater
This concert will feature the SPS instrumental ensembles, including the combined Jazz Bands, under the direction of Dr. Jose Mariano Matos Morales, and the combined String Ensembles, under the direction of Kristen Daugherty.
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by Scott McPherson
Thursday, October 23 through Saturday, October 25
7:00 p.m. nightly / Sandia Prep’s McCall Family Theater
Directed by Erin K. Moots
Technical Direction by Nathan Capriglione
Direct Link for Ticket Sales: https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=8b092336ad961eb37c4cc79f59221bcd
Sandia Prep's Theater and Arts Departments are teaming up: Thursday, October 23 marks the opening of the Faculty Art Show as well as opening night for Marvin's Room. Art reception begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Anderman Concourse, and patrons are encouraged to remain for the 7:00 p.m. opening of Marvin's Room.
THE STORY: Bessie lives in Florida where she cares for her aunt and ailing father, Marvin. Aunt Ruth has several collapsed vertebrae and has to wear an electrode pack on her waist with which she can both control her constant pain and open and close her garage door at will. Unable to speak, and confined to his bed for years, Marvin's only entertainment comes from someone bouncing beams of sunlight, reflected from a small mirror, around his room. Bessie learns amidst all this illness that she has leukemia and that her only hope is to contact her long-estranged sister Lee to see if her bone marrow is compatible for a transplant. Lee reluctantly makes the trip to Florida from Ohio, bringing along her two sons, one of whom has just been released from an institution after a wave of arson. The reunion of the sisters is uneasy at best, with long buried recriminations coming to the surface even as love slowly overwhelms Lee's veneer of selfishness and glib denial. Bessie's challenge becomes to reunite Lee and her son Hank before he rejects her forever for her years of neglect. One by one, Lee and her sons are tested for the transplant, but none of them will be able to donate to Bessie who, for the moment, seems to have gone into remission. Against Lee's urging that Bessie take it easy, Bessie refuses to condemn Aunt Ruth and her father to nursing homes, claiming that only by caring for them herself will she make her own illness bearable. During a trip to Disneyland, Bessie collapses. Lee and Hank, however, have finally begun to communicate as a result of Bessie's attentions to them both. As the bad news accumulates, the play ends with Bessie taking shelter in her only refuge: In answer to her father's cries of discomfort, she selflessly abandons her own despair and helps him to bounce the day's remaining sunlight around his room.
AWARDS and REVIEWS: Marvin's Room was the winner of the 1991 Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the John Gassner Award, the 1991—1992 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play. and the 1991—1992 Drama Desk Award for Best Play. A hilarious and wondrous account of one woman's commitment to loving others first, and her belief that giving such love has made her life unbelievably rich, even as she faces her own death. "…one of the funniest plays of the year as well as one of the wisest and most moving." "…the themes of death, love, duty, care and service are frugally intertwined in a play of considerable emotional resonance." —New York Post.
SANDIA PREP CAST LIST:
Bessie: Sivan Gordon-Buxbaum
Lee: Samantha Zeurcher
Ruth: Haley Kiernan
Hank: Simon Tyroler
Charlie: Logan Lasher
Dr. Charlotte: Delaney Heileman
Retirement Home Director: Sara Trauth
Dr. Wally: Tanner Gill
Bob/Mickey Mouse: Jon Mullins
Marvin: Daniel Romero
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Former SPS art teacher Peter Fitzpatrick has brought together two things that are dear to his heart: his artwork and Sandia Prep. Fitzpatrick has lent a collection of his artwork to the School; this exhibit, on display in the Dick Heath Board Room, consists of 15 oil and acrylic paintings. Mr. Fitzpatrick’s art is for sale to the public, and he has generously offered to contribute a major percentage of the proceeds as a gift to Sandia Prep.
Peter Fitzpatrick was a member of Sandia Prep’s Visual Arts Faculty from 2000 until his retirement in 2012, the same year he received the Bridges Teaching Award, the School’s highest teaching honor. Prior to coming to SPS, he was an art teacher and administrator with Albuquerque Public Schools for many years. He taught at Sandia High School from 1990 to 1999, and served as Fine Arts Chair for six years of his tenure. Fitzpatrick also served as District Curriculum Coordinator of Art Education for all of APS. He is the past recipient of numerous art and teaching awards, including the Bravos Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education, the Blue Ribbon Teacher of the Year and the Crystal Apple Award.
Fitzpatrick studied painting at the University of New York under the inspirational direction of John Fitzgerald; and at the University of Albuquerque under the kind and generous teaching of Ou Mi Shu.
Read the artist statment below and when you are on campus, please stop by the Heath Board Room and enjoy this impressive exhibit of Peter Fitzpatrick’s inspirational artwork.
Peter Fitzpatrick Exhibit - Artist Statement.pdf
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Middle School Halloween Dance
Friday, October 31
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Russell Student Center
Open to Sandia Prep students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades
All Sandia Prep 6th, 7th and 8th graders are invited to the Middle School Halloween Dance. This year’s dance is sponsored by Sandia Prep’s World Language Alliance (WLA) and the theme is Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos).
Come in costume, or dress for a dance; come alone, or in a group. Admission is $5; bring a little extra money to buy snacks. There will be a DJ, games and dancing.
This event is open to Sandia Prep Middle School students. Any guests must be approved in advance by the Dean of Students for the SPS student’s relevant grade.
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Saturday, September 27 marked Sandia Prep’s Annual Homecoming BBQ. The Parents Association and the Sundevil Athletics Organization would like to thank all parent volunteers, faculty, staff, and students for making this year’s event a success.
The day was filled with exciting tournaments and good food. We served hamburgers, hot dogs, snow cones and other goodies to more than 700 people, including athletes and coaches from SPS and visiting schools, officials, family members and friends. A fun time was enjoyed by all. Again, thank you for making this Sundevil celebration exceptional!
Join us again next year!
Your 2014 Homecoming Committee
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Back to School Night was held on September 11 and, once again, was very successful. Sincere thanks to all the many parent volunteers who helped organize the fabulous refreshments!
Thank you as well to our wonderful National Honor Society students for serving as ambassadors for Sandia Prep by guiding parents throughout the campus, answering questions, and manning the food and drink station in the Commons. Great job, students!
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Sandia Prep English instructor Kent Wall has accepted a directing position with the Albuquerque Boy Choir. He will be in charge of the organization's middle school group, the Concert Choir, as well as Cantamos, the high school group. An active musician, Wall has extensive performance experience and a musical education background. Each summer, he serves as musical director for one of SummerPrep's musical theater productions.
Wall has sung the tenor solo in Schubert's Mass in G with the New Mexico Philharmonic. Ini addition, he has sung roles with the Santa Fe Community Orchestra, Opera Southwest, University of New Mexico Opera Studio, and Musical Theater Southwest, and has toured with Santa Fe Opera's educational outreach program. He holds a master's degree in music from the University of New Mexico.
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Daniel de León was one of three presenters for the New Mexico Organization of Language Educators Lift-Up XXIV Conference, held at Highland High School in September. At SPS, Dan serves as a Spanish teacher and Coordinator for Educational Innovation.
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Happy Fall! September was a busy month at Sandia Prep. We started the month with Back to School Night for parents, always one of my favorites! After attending this event, my husband Greg always says that he wants to go to SPS! The Golf Tournament was a success, and we raised $27,000 for Financial Aid. The month ended with Spirit Week and, Lion and Unicorn Day, and Homecoming – what fun!
We have a new volunteer system in place. We are now using SignUp Genius. It’s simple and quick. Please go to the link and sign up to volunteer. It is really a wonderful way to get to know people at the school and be connected!
You can find the link on the SPS website: the main Parents page (http://www.sandiaprep.org/parents); and the Parents Association page (http://www.sandiaprep.org/parents/parents-association)
October promises to be a great month. October brings Grandparents’ Day on Thursday, October 9. This is a fun day for your kids to bring their grandparents or “grand friends” to show off their school.
Meet Prep is set for Sunday, October 19. This is our very special annual event for prospective students and families.
Thank you to the Hendersons, Stells, Kiers, Gales, Trainors, and Hunters for hosting the back to school grade level parent parties. If you are interested in hosting next year, please contact Vicki Gale.
Thank you to ALL our wonderful parent volunteers.
Please come to our next Parents Association meeting on Tuesday, October 28 at 11:30 a.m. in the Dick Heath Board Room. We will be providing a light lunch. Join us!
Enjoy Fall Break!
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Sandia Prep will host our annual celebration of Grandparents’ and Grandfriends’ Day on Thursday, October 9. Grandparents of Sandia Prep students will be our special guests, beginning in the morning, and lunch will be provided, both for grandparents and their grandchildren who are students here at Sandia Prep.
Invitations and an event schedule were mailed to all grandparents for whom we have addresses. If your child’s grandparents cannot attend Grandparents’ Day, we would like to also extend an invitation for this wonderful day to any significant adult in your child’s life. Please contact Courtney Haury at email@example.com or 338.3058 with a name and address and we will send your child’s special guest an invitation and schedule for the day.
Parent volunteers are needed. If you would like to volunteer in the evening, on Wednesday, October 8, to help with set up, or during the day on Thursday, October 9 to assist with the event, please sign up at signupgenius.com or contact Parents Association event volunteer chair Maria McCue at 414.9808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Specific times to volunteer are:
Wednesday, Oct. 8
6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Need 10-15 volunteers to help set up and decorate
Thursday, Oct. 9
7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Need 7 volunteers to help set up and then staff refreshment tables
11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Need 7 volunteers to help with serving lunch and cleanup
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Join us for Meet Prep on Sunday, October 19. This is a very special day, when we open our School’s campus and extend a warm Sandia Prep welcome to prospective students and their families!
We need parent volunteers to bake, serve, set up, and clean up for this wonderful event that is so important for the continuing success of our School.
Here’s how you can help:
If you can bake, please deliver 4 dozen cookies to the front desk during regular school hours on Friday, October 17. They need to be on a plate or in a zip lock bag. We cannot guarantee return of containers. Also, please print your name and include it with the cookies you contribute.
Volunteer for the event on Sunday, October 19:
If you are able to lend a hand at the reception, please be at the Russell Student Center at 2:00 p.m. and plan to stay until approximately 5:00 p.m. We will arrange tables, make punch, and plate donated cookies and fruit. Volunteers will also serve as informal school ambassadors answering questions from visiting families about Sandia Prep.
Please let us know if you are able to help with this event. Thank you for your willingness to be a part of this special day!
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Jitters are a common condition for prospective students and parents arriving at Sandia Prep's admission office for their interviews. Maybe you remember; it can be intimidating. Please join us in extending a warm Sandia Prep welcome to our prospective families.
We are looking for parent volunteers (grandparents are welcome to volunteer, too!) who can be the friendly face of Sandia Prep for about an hour after student drop-off in the morning. We work out of the admission office, generally from October through the beginning of February, greeting and providing campus tours to prospective families. You can volunteer as much or as little as you like. Even if you can help for just a few one-hour shifts, your assistance will be extremely beneficial.
If you are interested, please contact SPS parent, Vicki Gale, at 332.0344 or email@example.com.
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Thank you to all of you who have stepped up to the "plate" to fill openings on our SPS faculty and staff snack calendar this year. September snacks were provided by Stacey Maley, Lorraine Fjelseth, the Godfrey family and Kristina Leeder - thank you!
We are 1/3 of the way to meeting our goal of filling the entire school year calendar before Winter Break arrives. We have 23 weeks still open for you to sign up, beginning in November and throughout the rest of the school year.
Please take a moment to browse the calendar at mysignup.com/prepteacherappreciation for details about the our Faculty & Staff Appreciation Snack program and to sign up for your snack day.
Chair, Faculty & Staff Appreciation Snacks
SPS Parents Association
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Our Supply Sale was a huge success, thanks to all of you! Thank you to all who came, saw, shopped and volunteered on the first-ever Super Saturday Supply Sale extravaganza! As many of you know, this year was the first Supply Sale to be held on a Saturday and the response was amazing. Many thanks go to all the volunteers who worked that Saturday and gave their time throughout the full 7 days of the sale. We are already looking to next year to make the Saturday before school another successful one-stop shopping event to support our School.
We would also like to thank Page One Bookstore for coming to the Supply Sale and bringing their stock of Sandia Prep books, making it so convenient for our community to enjoy “one stop shopping.” Thank you, Lorraine Tourville, for suggesting this during a Parents Association meeting, and thank you, Margaret Duran, for getting the ball rolling!
More great news: We have computerized the Supply Store! This will make shopping more convenient for all; come in and check it out. Students can now buy Spirit Wear as well as school supplies with their store accounts, and this will promote Prep spirit! We are in the process of setting up the ability to accept credit cards (full-time) in the store, so stay tuned for updates.
The Supply Store is the largest fundraiser for the Parents Association. Proceeds help to fund all the activities in which our students participate as well as the “extras” our amazing faculty members need to provide a unique learning environment. Your continued support of the Sundevil Supply store helps to fund such things as the National Honor Society induction reception, Grandparents’ Day, and Homecoming to the refreshments for Meet Prep, fencing for the School garden, and so much more.
Our sincere thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers for making all this good stuff happen, as we could not do it without you! Please do not hesitate to contact any of us for information or questions.
Margaret Duran, 401-1833 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Mitchell, 269-6019 or email@example.com or
Dawn Ferguson, 259-9597 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Supply Store Co-Chairs
Sandia Prep Parents Association