The Path March 2024

An Albuquerque Academy Community Newsletter


Spring Day of Giving: A Celebration of 50 Years of Girls | An Academy Community Conversation: Legacy in Motion | INTO THE WOODS Has Special Meaning for Director | Spreading the Joy of Reading | 2024 Alumni Award Recipients | Cheers for Chargers | New Website Coming Soon | Special Events Prepare Juniors and Seniors for Life After the Academy | Campus Spotlight: 6-7 Opera | 2012 Grad Guides Young People on Difficult Journeys of Self-Discovery | GrandDays April 8 & April 9 | Think Summer Camps and Courses in Demand | Dive Into Spring with Charger Aquatics | Photo Gallery

Spring Day of Giving: A Celebration of 50 Years of Girls at the Academy

Let’s Hear It for the Girls!

This Spring Day of Giving, April 10, we are celebrating 50 years of girls at Albuquerque Academy. In preparation, we ask that you send images or stories of the girls and women who made the biggest impact on your Academy experience. Whether it be a teacher, staff member, parent, coach, or classmate, we’d love to honor their bold and unsung contributions to our community since the creation of the Albuquerque Academy for Boys in 1955.

50 for 50 Campaign

Throughout our Spring Day of Giving campaign, we ask all of our community members to make a $50 gift to honor an Academy girl or woman of impact and to share their story with us and on their social media accounts using these hashtags: #academydayofgiving, #letshearitforthegirls!, #albuquerqueacademy, #50for50.

Donors who participate in our 50 for 50 campaign will win a chance to receive an Academy spirit basket for each increment of $50 they give. The baskets are valued at over $200. There will be a basket winner for each grade level and ten for alumni and friends of the school.

Spring Day of Giving Goals – Raise 500 Total Gifts and $200,000

If you are interested in sponsoring a matching gift incentive to encourage others during Spring Day of Giving, please contact We are again planning friendly competitions between alumni classes and grade levels, and a matching gift is a proven incentive.

Alumni Challenge

The alumni class with the highest participation rate* will be able to select a girl or woman to honor with a plaque and a tree on campus. We are grateful to our alumni who have stepped up to sponsor their class's matching gift.

Grade Challenge

The grade with the highest family participation rate* will receive a Dion’s pizza party.

*Gifts must be made between 12 a.m. on Monday, April 1 and 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in order to count toward these challenges.

Please Join Us!

Review A Stronger Path Forward to learn more about why philanthropy at Albuquerque Academy matters. Did you know that the Academy subsidizes over $8,000 of every student’s education each year? Or that the school offers nearly $5 million in tuition assistance annually? Our goal is to build a strong Academy Fund for today and secure the endowment for the future.

Join Us for an Academy Community Conversation: Legacy in Motion

In conjunction with our Spring Day of Giving campaign celebrating 50 years of girls at Albuquerque Academy, the Alumni Council will host a virtual conversation discussing the school’s most significant changes as well as the aspects of an Academy education that have proven universal.

Albuquerque Academy: Legacy in Motion | Zoom Session | Wednesday, April 10 | 5:30-6:30 p.m.

This special Zoom session will be moderated by Alumni Council President Christina Bachicha ’91, and it will feature Associate Head of School Stephanie Lipkowitz and Chair of the Board of Trustees Diane Harrison Ogawa as well as former faculty member and archivist Rich Adam. The panel will discuss the major events that have shaped our school community and the aspects of an Academy education that are shared by all our students.

Please register by April 8.

INTO THE WOODS Has Special Meaning for Director

INTO THE WOODS weaves together several classic fairy tales, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel, into a cohesive narrative. It holds a special place in the heart of the director of this year’s spring musical, performing arts teacher Alexis Scott, whose journey with the production began when she was six years old and her grandmother introduced her to the magic of the original Broadway production. “A lot of it went over my head at that age, but the lasting effect of it was absolute magic,” Alexis says. “I knew I didn’t ever want to stop feeling what I felt in those plush seats.”

When it came time to select the 2024 musical last school year, Alexis was inspired by the enthusiasm of the students who eagerly embraced the chance to perform it. “I started asking around to the juniors who would be seniors this year, curious about what musicals they would really be excited to do at school. So many of them said INTO THE WOODS.” Alexis was surprised at how much staying power it has as a show. “When I discovered that we had never produced it, it seemed like a sign and a full-circle opportunity for me.”

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and based on a book by James Lapine, the story follows a baker and his wife who venture into the woods to lift a curse placed upon them by a witch. Along the way, they encounter familiar characters, each seeking their wishes. Still, as their paths intertwine, they learn about the consequences of their desires and the importance of responsibility and community. Blending humor, fantasy, and poignant themes, INTO THE WOODS offers a captivating exploration of the complexities of human nature and the power of storytelling and dares to ask, “What happens after happily ever after?”

Reflecting on her first experience directing an Academy musical, Alexis marvels at the abundance of talent and resources, highlighting the school's unwavering commitment to fostering artistic growth. “It is incredible to work in an academic setting where the arts are valued so highly that it is akin to a professional theatre while still being a space of learning. What a true gift for both adult artists and the students!”

The Albuquerque Academy production was directed and choreographed by Alexis Scott, with musical direction by Helen Bielejec and band direction by Hovey Corbin. There were several performances over two weekends, beginning with its premiere on Friday, March 8. The cast, crew, and pit comprised over 80 students.

Academy Reads: Spreading the Joy of Reading

To draw attention to the pleasures of reading, Simms Library is hosting a reading event April 4-25, featuring community members' favorite books or the books they are currently reading. Everyone is encouraged to participate.

“It’s a way to start conversations and make connections, bringing us together through shared experiences,” says Director of Library Services Megan Glidden. She wants to change the notion that reading has to be serious or be tied to an assignment. “Some genre books – like romance and so on – get tossed aside as not valid. We want to dispel that myth. Reading should be fun.”

Download a sign and add your recommendation. You can use it to share what you are reading and post it on your locker, office, or classroom door or share it on social media using these hashtags: #albuquerqueacademy, #academyreads.

2024 Alumni Award Recipients

Distinguished Alumni Award: Rashan Jones ’95

The Alumni Council annually presents the Distinguished Alumni Award to an alum of the school in recognition of extraordinary achievement or service that exemplifies the principles and values of Albuquerque Academy.

As the creative force behind Jones Art Glass, Rashan Omari Jones '95 crafts exquisite pieces using mouth-blown glass. His unique creations reflect his mastery of the medium, but Rashan’s impact extends beyond the studio walls. He became an ardent supporter of Beads of Courage (BOC) and its mission, an organization supporting children coping with serious illnesses. He has hosted events, championed the cause, and actively participated in advancing the organization’s goals. He also designed a series of 20th-anniversary pendants – limited-edition glass pendants to commemorate BOC’s remarkable journey and two decades of hard work and hope.

Rashan is deeply involved in other community initiatives as well. As the past president of the Sawmill Community Land Trust (Sawmill CLT), he contributed to community redevelopment and reduced displacement of existing residents. As the lead artisan and executive director at High Desert Creative Arts, he pioneers arts education for young minds. This groundbreaking initiative introduced elementary school glass education classes, partnering with local schools including Manzano Day School and Annunciation Catholic School, allowing students to explore the magic of glass firsthand. From molten glass to compassionate creativity, Rashan weaves a tapestry of resilience, inspiration, and artistic legacy. 

Young Alumni Service Award: Jordan Buttner ’17

Created by the Alumni Council to recognize notable service to the community and society that exemplifies the spirit of the Albuquerque Academy mission, the Young Alumni Service Award is presented annually to an alum who is 35 years of age or younger at the time of nomination and who has made significant personal achievements in serving the local, national, or international community.

Jordan Buttner, Class of 2017, founded the Redlands Reads program in Redlands, California, and is currently a student at the University of New Mexico Medical School. Since graduating from the Academy, Jordan has dedicated considerable time and effort to improving the lives of others through volunteer and professional work. As a college student, he volunteered at Totally Kids, a rehabilitation hospital in Loma Linda, CA, where he spent his shifts reading to young people needing significant assistance.

In 2021 during the pandemic, Jordan, then a senior at the University of Redlands, recognized the urgent need for children to access books and organized the delivery of new hardback books to Crafton Elementary School in Redlands, CA.

Now a student at UNM Medical School pursuing his M.D., Jordan continues his legacy of service in his community through various roles, including providing medical services at OneHope Clinic, coordinating Free Sports Pre-Participation Physical Clinics, and serving as a Project Heart Start class coordinator. He has also received recognition for his teaching contributions at UNM School of Medicine.

Faculty Legacy Award: Rich Adam

The Albuquerque Academy Alumni Council Faculty Legacy Award is given to a member of the Academy’s faculty who has rendered distinguished service to Albuquerque Academy and made a lasting impact either to the development of the school’s students or, through their dedication and leadership, has strengthened the school as an institution of learning for our community.

After his studies at the University of Michigan and Harvard, Richard M. “Rich” Adam joined the Academy faculty in 1980 as director of guidance, overseeing college guidance and personal counseling. Throughout his 40+ years at the Academy, he taught various subjects, including French, Spanish, English, psychology, and Senior Humanities, while taking on administrative roles and serving on committees.

He also served as one of the adjuncts for experiential education, chaired the Senior Appraisal Committee, and served on 10-12 admission committee and The User Committee, which provided guidance during the planning and construction of Simms Library, for which he later served as interim co-director.

Rich's assignments reflected both the school's needs and his curiosity about learning and teaching. In 1991, he became the Academy’s archivist, deeply involved in documenting the school's history as he reduced his teaching commitments before his retirement in September 2023. He is cherished by the Albuquerque Academy community for his ability to listen, remember, and provide insight into the school's history through various means, including student work and conversations with alumni.

In recognition of his distinguished service and lasting impact, the Alumni Council is honored to invite Mr. Rich Adam as an official member of the Alumni Association, in accordance with the Alumni Association Constitution.

Cheers for Charger Teams

Academy Chess Repeats as State Champs

The Academy chess team won all four of their matches at the 2024 NMAA 4A/5A State High School Team Chess Tournament, securing their title as state champs for the second year in a row!

See the list of team members.

41 Students Qualify for DECA Nationals

More than three-quarters of the Academy DECA team that competed at state qualified to represent New Mexico at the national competition. Of the 54 students competing at state in independent role play events, team role play events, or written events, 41 have the opportunity to compete at Nationals in April.

The Academy had the second-highest number of individuals qualifying for nationals in the state (41) and the highest percentage of winners in the state (76%).

See the list of national qualifiers.

Mathcounts Team Members Listed Among Top in State

Academy’s MathCounts team sent five students to the New Mexico State Competition – seventh graders Mark Goldman ’29, Susheer Paladugu ’29, and Keith Lee ’29 and sixth graders Iris Huang ’30 and Sadye Bruce ’30. Despite stiff competition, Academy performed exceptionally, and Iris secured a spot on the state team that will go on to compete at the national level.

See the news story for more.

Both Science Olympiad Teams Advance to Nationals

The Academy’s middle school and high school Science Olympiad teams are moving on to the national tournament at Michigan State University in May following wins at the state tournament at New Mexico Tech in Soccoro. Each Academy team faced 19 other schools.

See the list of participants.

Speech and Debate Team Receives Highest Honor at State Tournament

Thirty-five Academy students competed at the 2024 Speech & Debate Championship in Rio Rancho in February — more students than any other participating school.

The team moves on to the District National Qualifier, March 22-23 at the Academy.

Read the news story for more.

Boys Basketball

Charger boys basketball clinched the district championship for the third year in a row and took down Gallup in the first game of state playoffs.

Girls Basketball

Academy girls basketball took the district championship outright and won the district tournament, giving them their second district title in a row and qualifying them for the state play.

New Academy Website Coming Soon

Albuquerque Academy will launch a new website soon! The switchover is scheduled for late March, during spring break.

Why are we launching a new website?

Websites start to show their age, and our current website is almost seven years old. We’ve incorporated lots of new functionality, and the new site is designed to be mobile-first.

Our current website has 550+ active pages, and the new one has about 50. The streamlined setup allows for flatter, quicker navigation through the site and makes it much simpler to find the information you need

We now have ChargerHub – a secure, password-protected area where we can put information intended just for our immediate community members.

What are some of the new features?

On the homepage: attention-getting announcement spaces, news stories, quick testimonial videos, and motion elements

In-page navigation: Although there will be more information on a page, you can jump right to the section you want using the in-page menu just below the banner image.

New ChargerHub pages: Content on the current website intended only for our internal community – students, parents, and employees – is being moved to special ChargerHub webpages. This includes information such as college guidance resources and meeting signup links, language exchange program dates and application forms, division policies and forms, and so on.

Special Events Prepare Juniors and Seniors for Life After the Academy

Academy hosted two long-standing traditions in March – Career Day for our juniors and College Toolkit workshops for our seniors. Juniors spent the morning meeting with experts in dozens of fields, allowing them to learn about various professions, from medicine, engineering, and diplomacy to law enforcement, architecture, law, and finance. After the small group presentations, juniors concluded their day with a Financial Literacy presentation from Thomas Parr ’96. This event was made possible through great coordination from many faculty and volunteers.

Meanwhile, seniors participated in a morning of activities with the goal of preparing them for life beyond the Academy. Our faculty offered seminars on such topics as personal finance, self-defense, yoga, resume and cover letter writing, finding a community, and cooking.

Campus Spotlight: 6-7 Opera

2012 Grad Guides Young People on Difficult Journeys of Self-Discovery

To celebrate 50 years of educating girls at Albuquerque Academy, Alumni Council member Ted Alcorn '01 is telling the stories of women alumni.

By Ted Alcorn '01

As a five-year-old, in the company of her maternal grandmother, Elianna Boswell ’12 went to China.

It was one of many countries she had already visited. That “China” was a restaurant by the interstate didn’t matter to her. Whenever the pair went out to eat, they would “travel” to the country of the chosen cuisine, and her grandmother, an elementary school teacher, would tell her all about the place. And that was magical to the little girl, sparking a lifelong love of learning and travel.

At the Academy, which Elianna entered as a sixth grader, she was not shy about sharing her views or standing up for them, and she was eventually recommended for the debate team. In preparing arguments about complex questions like the ethics of the death penalty, she read philosophical texts she said were far beyond her comprehension. But it was empowering to discover she could still access them to some degree and make them meaningful to her life.

What she valued most, she said, was how the school conferred on her the belief she could do anything she wanted — without a burdensome expectation she had to succeed at all costs or a narrow conception of what it should look like. “It didn't need to be a particular version of success,” she said. “Whatever I chose was worthwhile.”

Her senior year, during a unit on Israel-Palestine in Charlie Bergman’s comparative government class, Elianna found herself turning her formidable analytical skills on unquestioned dimensions of her own identity. Her Jewish ancestry was deep-rooted; her grandparents, the children of Jewish immigrants, still spoke Yiddish at home together, and Albuquerque’s diverse and inclusive Jewish community had made a place for her family, which had always espoused unwavering support for Israel and the rightness of its policies.

Now, she encountered ideas about land and occupation that were incongruent with the beliefs she’d grown up with. What was most jarring, she said, was what this said about her own blind spots. “The Academy deeply instilled in me the value of critical thinking. And at that point, I was convinced that I was, in fact, a critical thinker.” Now a new, more complicated landscape of the Middle East had come into view. “It was earth-shattering,” she said.

To answer some of the questions this raised, she did what her grandmother had taught her: she traveled. First on a gap year in a Bedouin community in southern Jordan and, after university, to Jerusalem. There, working as the education director for the small non-profit Achvat Amim, which believes in Jewish solidarity with Palestinians as the path towards collective liberation, she developed an experiential curriculum to help her peers explore Israeli and Palestinian societies, as she had.

The program drew students from around the world, many of whom were reconciling their own Jewish identities with Israeli policies to which they objected. For three years, Elianna led cohorts across Israel and Palestine to engage with people living there, be they Palestinian shepherds or Israeli kibbutz residents, and to learn from them.

“I really, really believe in people being allowed to have journeys towards different political points of view, understandings of history, understandings of self,” she said. “There are so few spaces in the world where we're able to take complex identities and unpack them in really non-judgmental spaces.”

Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, and the bombardment of Gaza that followed, did not stop the educational program. But they were a stark reminder to Elianna of how challenging the situation is, how tectonic the forces at play. “It's hard — largely because the scale of change that I work at is not the scale of change that we need. And that feels really, really difficult to cope with.”

She also tasted the heartbreak so many people have experienced when her dear friend Khalil was killed in Gaza last fall. “Each life is a world,” she said, referring to a saying that exists in both Jewish and Muslim cultures, and it’s impossible for her to wrap her mind around the fact he is just one of tens of thousands who died. “The human brain is not meant to understand the kinds of numbers that we're dealing with,” she said.

GrandDays Coming Soon - April 8 & April 9

Register Your Guests by March 21!

We are excited to welcome grandparents and grandfriends to campus this spring for a day filled with joy and cherished moments. GrandDays is a beloved annual tradition, and we have a memorable 2024 event planned with classroom activities, student performances, campus explorations, delicious meals, and a photo booth.

GrandDays will be held over two days in early April.

  • Monday, April 8, grades 6-7, 8:15 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 9, grades 8-12, 8:15 a.m.-2 p.m.

The day begins at 7:30 a.m. with check-in and time to relax with refreshments before the first class at 8:15 a.m. Grands are encouraged to dress casually and wear comfortable shoes. Golf carts will be available for those who need assistance.

Families: Please click here to register your parents or family friends by March 21. The registration system will work ONLY for Academy parents.

We will send an email with further details about GrandDays to families planning to attend when we return from Spring Break. If you or your grands have any questions about GrandDays, please contact or (505) 828-3281.

Think Summer Camps and Courses in Demand

Think Summer classes are filling quickly! A few days after registration opened, Think Summer was well on its way to having over 1,200 kids on campus this summer. There is still time to register if you want something to engage and excite your children. There are many half-day camps (a.m. and p.m.) still available, which you can mix and match to create a customized full-day (8:10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) schedule for your child. From traditional recreation-based camps like Variety Sports Camp or the new Rise & Shine Camp to more academic-based programs like Jr. Academy for the Arts or Full STEAM Ahead, you’re sure to find a combination that fits your child’s interests. Check out the half-day camps listed in the online catalog starting on page 20. Register for either an a.m. or p.m. session, or choose both to build a full day!

Think Summer registration is open until April 5. Register now!

Dive Into Spring with Charger Aquatics

Ready to make a splash this spring? Dive into swimming with Charger Aquatics! Introducing our pre-team class and lessons for kids aged 12 and under. Join us on Saturdays from April 6 to June 1 at Albuquerque Academy. Registration is open until April 5 at noon. Don't miss out – sign up today!

Albuquerque Academy Bay Area Reception

Head of School Julianne Puente, Associate Head of School Christine Lenhart, and school leadership recently reconnected and shared information with Bay Area alumni and friends about exciting strategic initiatives happening at the Academy.

For alumni spanning the classes of 1972-2023, the event provided a platform to network, fostering connections between alumni and friends of the Academy while showcasing the school’s ongoing commitment to excellence and innovation. In addition, the stories of our alumni never cease to amaze and serve as motivation for the important work of the Academy. Decreasing food waste, protecting indigenous land rights in Malaysia, supporting the future of independent schools, and advocating for asylum seekers – our Bay Area alumni are making an impact on local and global communities!

If you are interested in hosting a regional reception in your city, please contact

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