High School Redistricting Committee At Work In Las Cruces

Las Cruces – As the new Centennial High School continues to take shape on Sonoma Ranch Boulevard in east Las Cruces, members of the committee charged with coming up with recommendations for the school's attendance zone are busy at work.

The high school redistricting committee will continue its meetings throughout the summer months as it combs through vast amounts of demographic, socio-economic and enrollment data.

The school's boundary must be carved out of the existing zones for Las Cruces, Mayfield and O ate High Schools, said Jo Galv n, LCPS communications director. The district's two other high schools Arrowhead Park Early College High School and San Andres High School accept students from throughout the district and do not have definable attendance zones. Galv n said even though Centennial won't open for another 13 months, in August 2012, the boundary lines must be prepared well in advance and will be presented to the community before any decisions are made.

"The redistricting committee has a good cross-section of residents who live throughout the school district," Galv n said. "The committee is doing a lot of homework this summer, reviewing a mountain of data which will provide the basis for their recommendations that go before the public in the coming months."

Merrie Lee Soules, who chairs the committee, said they plan to meet several times a month. Other committee members also appointed by the LCPS School Board are: Tracey Alexander, Gilbert Apodaca, Cindy Aragon, David Fierro, Larry Garcia, Michael Hays, Patty Hughs, Irene Montoya, Earl Nissen, Janel Ortiz, Susan Palmer, Lucy Rathgeber, and Dawn Starostka. LCPS employees on the committee include the high school principals from Las Cruces, Mayfield and O ate, and the newly appointed Centennial High Principal, Michael Montoya.

For Centennial's first year, 2012/2013, the school will house freshmen and sophomores; juniors will have the option to attend their existing school or go to Centennial if they live in the attendance zone. School officials say the new school will not open with a senior class.

"Based on experience, most 12th graders don't want to leave their current high schools since they are so close to graduating with their existing classmates," said Superintendent Stan Rounds. "We will honor that tradition and seniors will not be added at Centennial until the following school year."

Additional information about the redistricting committee's work and photographs of Centennial's construction are online on the district's website,

The school is 62 percent complete with a portion of the academic wings and gymnasium as the first structures erected. Eventually it will house about 2,000 students.