Science 72 Olympiad 80 by BridgeWhen did studying and competing in science become cool?

That question was a no brainer for students in five Central Consolidated School District schools who competed—and took wins—in the annual Northwest Regional Science Olympiad Jan. 23, 2016 at Mesa View Middle School in Farmington. Kirtland Middle School took 1st place, in the middle school category, at the competition.

Kirtland Middle and Tse’ Bit Ai’ middle schools, as well as Newcomb High School—each longtime veterans of the competition—swept up enough wins and points for their teams to qualify for the State Science Olympiad Feb. 20, 2016 at New Mexico Tech in Socorro south of Albuquerque.

Schools 80 by 40 at Shiprock FairAt one point even the Yei’Bi’Chei—the Navajo spiritual healers who were walking around the fair— briefly stopped to watch students performing. Students from throughout the Central Consolidated School District took center stage for two days at the 2015 Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico.

“I watched the parents and grandparents’ faces. Oh my gosh, they were so filled with pride,” CCSD Interim Superintendent Dr. Colleen Bowman said.

Miss Naschitti 72 w Miss Navajo Nation 80 by 40A Naschitti Elementary student didn’t have a question for Miss Navajo Nation Alyson Jeri Shirley. Instead he just jumped out of his seat and gave her a big bear hug.

Ms. Shirley—who spoke about the importance of education and learning and maintaining Navajo culture and language—visited with more than 100 students, from pre-school through the fifth grade, during an Oct. 7, 2015 Parent Appreciation Day at Naschitti Elementary in northwest New Mexico.

Ojo Amarillo 1 Road 80 by 40Navajo Nation and New Mexico officials joined community members, students, staff, and CCSD administrators in a Nov. 13, 2015 grand opening of a chip-sealed stripped road—that replaced a dirt road—leading to Ojo Amarillo Elementary School in northwest New Mexico.

“It’s important that we have safe passage to our schools,” Central Consolidated School District Interim Superintendent Dr. Colleen Bowman said in an interview.

Newcomb Elementary 80 by 40 Blue RibbonNewcomb Elementary Principal Deborah Belone praised her school’s teachers, students, and past principals for the school being recognized as a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan cited Newcomb Elementary as an “exemplary high performing school,” in a letter to the school congratulating them on receiving the Blue Ribbon award.

Spelling 72 Bee 2016 Winners 80 by 40

UPDATE: Rhys B. (the Kirtland Elementary School student who took 3rd place in the CCSD Spelling Bee) competed in the San Juan County Spelling Bee and took home the 3rd place trophy. He represented CCSD March 19, 2016 at the New Mexico Spelling Bee in Albuquerque.

The top three place winners in the Central Consolidated School District 2016 Spelling Bee (pictured here) went on to compete in the San Juan County Spelling Bee.

Career Prep1 72 w insert Prep 80 by 40 Christmas MuralThe mud man takes viewers by surprise.

“We basically took the concept of a snowman and turned it around,” Career Prep High student Lardell Lewis said about the Navajo-Christmas themed wall mural.

“For the eyes we had grandma put on her unused turquoise, she put beads around its neck, and let the mud man hold her staff. Grandma is standing right next to the mud man.”

KES 80 by 40 Veterans Day 2015U.S. Army veteran Mike Bekis, of Fruitland, New Mexico, proudly held his grandson, a Kirtland Elementary School student, just prior to the Nov. 11, 2015 Veterans Day celebration at the school. Bekis was stationed along the West-East German border during the Cold War.

“We were the first defense. Everybody was worried about the Russian tanks. That was the only place they could come through—the Fulda Gap. And we were there,” Bekis said, adding the first time he saw the Berlin Wall he was shocked: “What is this? We’re actually living like this? Eastern and Western Germany—the way it was—what’s going on here?”

JNE Construction June 6 2016 wThe $20 million Judy Nelson Elementary School under construction in Kirtland, New Mexico, is in the shape of a Y. And the new traffic flow is in the shape of an oval.

The top arms of the Y are the classrooms, with the right arm at two stories and the left arm at a single story. The intersection of the Y, which is also two stories, includes the front-office area and offices. The bottom of the Y includes the single-story cafeteria. The first-floor area of new construction is at 56,509 square feet; while the second-story floor area is at 22,548 square feet.

The existing building—comprised of the gymnasium and music room saved from the demolished Ruth N. Bond Elementary—is 15,825 square feet. This existing portion of the school—which has already merged with the new construction—brings an additional lower-left arm to the Y.

Once done, the total square footage of the new kindergarten through sixth-grade school will be 94,882 square feet. It can accommodate up to 715 students. (Preschool students go to the District's nearby Kirtland Early Childhood Center.)