The Path December 2023

An Albuquerque Academy Community Newsletter


Senior Attends International Court Program | Admission Application Deadline: February 8, 2024 | Academy Alight: A Seasonal Tradition | Upcoming Events | Tax-Advantaged Giving Opportunities | Phoebe Suina ’94: A Steward of Landscape and Language | Think Summer Gearing Up for 2024 | Academy Exceeds Giving TuesdAAy Goals | Musicians Selected for All-State Performances | Community Service in Full Swing | Campus Spotlight: The Advocate | Thank You, Corporate Partners | Fall Athletes Earn End-of-Season Recognition | Young Alumni Celebrate Together | Levanta Concert Brings Enthusiastic Crowd | Photo Gallery

Senior Travels to Poland for Model International Criminal Court

Luke Laskey ’24 was one of almost 60 students from Germany, Poland, and the U.S. selected to participate in the Model International Criminal Court (MICC) in Krzyżowa, Poland in November. The program simulates trials before the International Criminal Court (ICC), renowned as the world's most sophisticated mechanism for the protection of human rights and rules of warfare.

After providing a video introduction, completing a list of questions, and submitting an essay on how the experience could impact his life, Luke was one of eight other New Mexico students selected to represent the U.S.

His journey began with a long flight to Europe and exploring Amsterdam and Berlin for a few days before diving into the heart of the program at the MICC facility in Krzyżowa. Along with the other students, he participated in a series of trainings, discussions, and workshops that culminated at the end of the week in a simulation of the ICC process – preparation, trial, and verdict.

One of the program's highlights for Luke was his defense in a challenging case involving a Yugoslavian man claiming self-defense in the deaths of 80 people. The trials, mirroring those of the Nuremberg trials, Rwandan genocide, and Yugoslavian conflicts, provided rich material for both defense and prosecution teams, encouraging participants like Luke to pursue the complexities of human rights and humanitarian law.

Reflecting on his experience, Luke described MICC as the "best experience of my life.” Beyond the courtroom, the evenings were filled with cultural exchange, music, and games. Despite occasionally missing home and an unusual Thanksgiving meal of sauerkraut, bread, and cheese, the shared experiences bonded the participants, forming friendships that extended beyond the courtroom. “I made so many friends – I’m hoping I can see them again. We have been staying in touch.”

As the program concluded with a visit to the city of Wroclaw – “an interesting place,” Luke says, “filled with gnomes and a Christmas market," his journey underscored his continued interest in international law and human rights. Inspired by his time in Poland, Luke is contemplating majoring in international law and relations with a minor in human rights and Spanish, a testament to the program's impact on his academic and personal growth. “It definitely opened my eyes to the world around me.”

Admission Application Deadline: February 8, 2024

Albuquerque Academy is going places! Every day, Academy students are discovering new interests, pursuing their passions, and contributing to our community. And every year we're looking for more students to join us for the journey. The Academy is now accepting applications for all grades for the 2024-25 school year. Get started or continue working on your application today. Our tuition assistance application is also available now, and you can find it here. The admission and tuition assistance deadlines are February 8, 2024.

Academy Alight: A Seasonal Tradition

The campus was aglow on December 2 with thousands of luminarias lining the campus drive.

Academy Alight is a community project, bringing together employees, students, and parents, all helping to fill paper bags with sand and candles in the days leading up to the luminaria display as well as setting up for the event.

This year our community service clubs coordinated a Coats for Cocoa event to help Albuquerque families stay warm this winter. They asked the community to bring new and gently used coats, hats, gloves, and scarves to donate at Academy Alight. Donations went to support Read to Excel, an Academy student-led tutoring program for local refugee and immigrant students. They collected enough donations to fill 14 large garbage bags.

Upcoming Events

Alumni XC Run | December 27, 10 a.m. | Meet at the benches southwest of the East Campus Gym | Followed by lunch at Dion’s on Academy Road | Register here.

Alumni Swim & Dive Reunion | December 30, 9 a.m. | Natatorium | Register here.

SAVE THE DATE: GrandDays | Grades 6-7: Monday, April 8, 2024 | Grades 8-12: Tuesday, April 9, 2024 | Details to follow in 2024

Tax-Advantaged Giving Opportunities

An End-of-Year Message

Even on the heels of an incredibly successful Giving TuesdAAY, our efforts to sustain the critical mission of Albuquerque Academy continue. The school still needs additional funds to meet the fundraising goal necessary to cover this year’s operating budget. Your support is instrumental in shaping the future of Albuquerque Academy, and we want to extend another opportunity for you to make a lasting impact on our students' lives.

Given the tax implications for end-of-year giving, we want to highlight ways to amplify your generosity and help create a meaningful effect. Stock gifts and IRA rollovers present strategic giving options that not only support our mission but also offer advantageous tax benefits. Donating appreciated stocks or directing a portion of your IRA (for people aged 70.5 and older) to Albuquerque Academy allows you to maximize your impact while potentially minimizing your tax burden.

As we approach the year's end, we invite you to consider the profound difference your gift could make in the lives of our students and our greater community. To take advantage of this opportunity of impactful giving or to discuss any questions you may have, please reach out to the advancement office at or (505) 828-3281.

Phoebe Suina ’94: A Steward of Landscape and Language

In honor of 50 years of coeducation at Albuquerque Academy, Alumni Council member Ted Alcorn '01 is telling the stories of women alumni.

By Ted Alcorn ’01

When Phoebe Suina describes her feelings for the mountains, fields, and rivers of New Mexico, even the word “love” doesn’t seem adequate. “It’s in my bones, and it’s in my blood,” she said.

She has forged that connection over decades of study and work as an environmental engineer. It’s also a product of her lineage as a daughter of San Felipe and Cochiti Pueblos, a history it took her time to embrace and revere.

In her infancy, Phoebe began learning Keres, the language spoken by a few thousand people in a handful of Middle Rio Grande pueblos. But when her parents separated, she and her mom moved to Rio Rancho where it was easier to find work, and Phoebe was only exposed to the language on weekends in Cochiti, visiting her dad. A treasured fifth-grade teacher encouraged her to apply to the Academy.

Her mom worked long hours, so Phoebe was often the first to arrive at school and the last to be retrieved. There were only two Indigenous girls enrolled at that time, but she remembered how Mr. Vincent Cordova, an early champion of diversity at the Academy, would often check on her. Sports helped bring the quiet girl out of her shell. When faculty and staff held pickup basketball games in the middle school gym where she lingered after school, they often drafted her to play.

In particular, she was a free throw ace — such a sharpshooter, in fact, that in eighth grade she won a citywide contest and advanced to nationals. Her entire class gave her a sendoff party and a giant card scrawled with well wishes, which she has kept to this day. “Maybe I still have it because I cherished that my entire class got behind me,” she said.

The competitive spirit discovered on the athletic field also spurred Phoebe and her friends in the classroom, where they organized study groups and pushed each other. After graduating, she headed to Dartmouth to major in engineering. Electrical classes stumped her, but hydraulics was another story. “I saw how water moved,” she said, “and it clicked.”

The real turning point arrived when she was back at home on a break and was invited to help with a language revitalization program being undertaken in Cochiti Pueblo. Re-immersed in the community, Phoebe spoke with older generations and delved into the history of the dam on the eastern side of the pueblo, which the Army Corps of Engineers had installed to control the flow of the Rio Grande.

Contrary to assurances made to the community at that time, seepage from the dam had eventually destroyed the pueblo’s farmland, altered traditional ways of life, and contributed to social dissolution that had imperiled the language she was working to revive.

Looking at the engineering drawings, Phoebe thought to herself, “This can’t happen again.” The community needed someone who could decipher this type of document, parse the Flood Control Act, and protect their interests and the environment they were a part of. “It reignited my passion.”

Now decades later, Phoebe fully inhabits that role, heading her own project management and environmental consulting business High Water Mark, which has helped communities across New Mexico recover from natural disasters while improving their long-term stability and sustainability. She has also been appointed to two influential government boards, where she volunteers her time and expertise to make consequential decisions for the whole state. She sees herself as a bridge, navigating the intricacies of tribal, state, and federal governments while leveraging the traditional ecological knowledge her pueblos have developed over millennia.

And she’s bridged generations, too, giving her kids the language that nearly eluded her. Her daughter was one of the first students at the Keres Children’s Learning Center, a Montessori program that immerses students, and enrolling her there prompted Phoebe and her partner to be more mindful about speaking at home in their everyday lives.

Thinking of the vastness of eternity and the responsibility she feels for future generations, she said, “It’s less than a blink of an eye that we’ll be here.” She won’t let her time go to waste.

Think Summer Gearing Up for 2024

Mark Your Calendars for Think Summer 2024: June 10-July 19!

The 2024 Think Summer course catalog will be available online later this month. Click here to join the Think Summer mailing list so you’re notified of its release. Online registration opens in February.

NEW CLASS PREVIEW! Cartooning & Comics: In this hands-on course, you’ll explore the fundamentals of cartooning and comics while studying different styles. You will create original cartoon characters, draft storyboards, and use different illustration techniques and materials to produce your own unique comics.

Multicultural Summer Honors Program Applications Due January 20

This six-week, five-period, full-scholarship summer program includes academic enrichment, creative arts, experiential education, and community building. Current 4th-grade students from all cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply by January 20, 2024.

We encourage you to share this information with friends and family. Visit or see this flyer for more.

Academy Exceeds Giving TuesdAAy Goals

Thank you, Chargers, for your incredible support for Albuquerque Academy on Giving Tuesday! We realize there are countless opportunities and organizations to support, and we are grateful so many of you made the Academy your nonprofit of choice.

We had a great response! This Giving Tuesday the Academy received 603 individual gifts, exceeding our goal of 500, and surpassing our total fundraising goal, bringing in a total of $274,030!

We would like to extend a special thank you to our AAPA and Alumni Council for all their support this Giving Tuesday. We greatly appreciate the commitment of all the volunteers who serve as spirited champions for our annual giving initiatives.

Albuquerque Academy was built upon a deep foundation of philanthropy, and every generation of Chargers has benefited from the generosity of those who came before them. You are the driving force behind our students' education, and your continued support makes a lasting impact on our school and the greater community.

Thank you for helping us build a community of gratitude and giving!

If you missed this giving opportunity and still would like to support the school, it is never too late!

Musicians Selected for All-State Performances

Dozens of musicians will represent Albuquerque Academy at the 2024 New Mexico Music Educators Association All-State Festival. The festival showcases the top musical talent from across the state’s high school music programs through large ensembles that include band, orchestra, chorus, guitar, and jazz.

Read the news story for the list of students.

Community Service in Full Swing

In addition to the on-campus Giving TuesdAAy and the Coats for Cocoa initiatives, our community was actively involved in charitable efforts across the city this holiday season. A few examples include:

Toiletry Bags for Students: Seniors and their 6th-grade Convocation partners are working together to assemble bags of necessities for Albuquerque youth in need.

Saranam Gift Drive: Students donated gifts to the 30 children at Saranam, a program that provides everything families need to break the cycle of generational homelessness.

Holiday Toy Drive: Seventh-grade student leaders are working on collecting 500 gifts for local children experiencing homelessness during the holiday season through a partnership with Heading Home.

Holiday Treats for Hospitalized Children: Students assembled treat bags for the children spending the holidays at Ronald McDonald House.

Hot Chocolate Fundraiser for Maui: Change of Tomorrow sold hot chocolate on the quad during lunch. All proceeds were donated to the Maui Food Bank.

Collecting Children’s Books: Gently used books were collected and donated to Locker #505, a clothing bank for kids in need.

Mirukafei: This year’s sticker collection is now available in both bookstores! Proceeds will be donated to New Mexico Animal Friends.

Campus Spotlight: The Advocate

Thank You, Corporate Partners!

Thank you to our corporate partners – HUB International, Manzano Day School, and Paul Davis Restoration of New Mexico– for their investment in our school and the broader community’s educational, cultural, and economic progress. We truly appreciate their commitment and for signing on as the first three participants in this new program.

As corporate partners, they are not only investing in the education of our future leaders, scholars, and changemakers; they are also contributing to the overall strength and vibrancy of our entire community. Albuquerque Academy serves as a hub for intellectual and cultural engagement as well as community service that benefits our city, and it drives economic development as one of the city’s larger employers and by attracting new businesses whose employees seek exceptional educational opportunities for their children.

Learn more to learn about the benefits of this program and how to get involved.

Fall Athletes Earn End-of-Season Recognition

Congratulations to the student-athletes for receiving state, district, and metro honors at the close of the Fall 2023 athletic season!

See the news story for the list of students.

Young Alumni Celebrate Together

On November 22, Head of School Julianne Puente hosted nearly 50 young alumni from the classes of 2018-2024 for some traditional New Mexican cuisine at Common Grounds Cafe located in Simms Library. Faculty and staff welcomed these Chargers home to campus and reminded them to stay in touch with their teachers and fellow alumni as they explore their educational and professional opportunities. We hope to make this gathering a new festive Charger tradition that helps support our graduates as they transition to adulthood.

Levanta Concert Brings Enthusiastic Crowd

Music lovers enjoyed A Night of Brazilian Music with the spirited and sultry music of Brazil, from its historical roots to its contemporary innovations during the Levanta Institute’s first performance. Featuring John Truitt, Hovey and Alexis Corbin, the Rio Grande Guitar Quartet, and Laura Cruz, the enchanting and inspired concert provided a night of rhythm, melody, and cultural exploration.

Coming in April 2024: Clarice and Sergio Assad

April 19, 2024, 7 p.m. | Simms Center for the Performing Arts | Visit for more information and tickets.

The multi-talented Clarice Assad will join her world-renowned father, Sergio Assad, for a remarkable performance that promises to be a unique experience. The evening will be a harmonious blend of their artistic voices, creating an atmosphere filled with beautiful music that transcends generations and celebrates the power of familial musical connections.

In the world of music, few artists can boast a breadth of creativity as vast and impactful as Brazilian-American composer and performer Clarice Assad. Her journey through the realms of classical, world music, pop, and jazz has earned her acclaim and recognition on a global scale. A Grammy Award–nominated composer, celebrated pianist, inventive vocalist, and educator, Assad’s artistic voice transcends boundaries and defies categorization.

Photo Gallery

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