Laura Ware

Every year since 2008, SFI and the Santa Fe Alliance for Science have recognized one outstanding senior from each of Santa Fe’s high schools with the High School Prize for Scientific Excellence.

The students listed below distinguished themselves in math, science, or computer science in 2013.

Behind every great student are teachers who have inspired them, says SFI VP for Education and Outreach Ginger Richardson. The Prize for Outstanding Teaching recognizes teachers in Santa Fe schools who excel at encouraging their students’ creativity and scientific exploration.

This year’s teaching prize recipients are Claudia Vanderkolk, a math teacher at Santa Fe High School, and Suzanne Rodriguez, who teaches middle school math at El Dorado Community School.

In 2002 Rodriguez re-started El Dorado’s science fair program and recast it to focus on inquiry-based projects. She also started an after-school invention club for highly motivated students and created a Math Blitz curriculum that now is used at several other middle schools.

“We have some high level thinkers who are in tune with the needs of the changing world,” she says. “They want to use their skills to better the world. I really honor them for that.”

Vanderkolk dream is to privately tutor math students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and use her teaching experience to develop useful, stimulating math curricula. 

The student recipients of the 2013 High School Prize for Scientific Excellence: 

  • Alli Brimacombe, New Mexico School for the Arts 
  • Nico Cruz, SFI CAMP Alumnus 
  • Orlando Dominguez, Capital High School 
  • Ariadne Ellsworth, Desert Academy 
  • Madeleine Fort, Santa Fe Preparatory School 
  • Noah Kwicklis, The MASTERS Program 
  • Kyla Mermejo-Varga, Santa Fe Indian School 
  • Elliot F. Radsliff, Santa Fe Waldorf High School 
  • Yomi Tadfor, Santa Fe High School 
  • Bree Tassin, St. Michael’s High School 
  • Garret Trujillo, New Mexico School for the Deaf 
  • Jordan Vialpando, Academy at Larragoite 
  • Emma Wolinsky, Monte del Sol Charter School 

The winning students and teachers were honored during a May 8 ceremony at SFI.

More about the High School Prize