La Cueva High School

La Cueva High School

Infobox School
name = La Cueva High School

imagesize = 116px
motto = “Where Excellence Is a Habit”
established = 1986
type = Public high school
principal = Jo Ann Coffee
colors = Navy, Blue & Silver
mascot = Bear
enrollment = 2226
location = 7801 Wilshire Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87122
country = USA
information = (505) 823-2327
website =
bgcolor_section= #CCCCCC

La Cueva High School is a public high school located in northeast Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is part of the Albuquerque Public Schools District. Their mascot is a bear. The La Cueva Cluster has several middle and elementary schools that feed into it, of which include Desert Ridge and Eisenhower middle schools, Dennis Chavez, Double Eagle, Hubert Humphrey, and North Star elementary schools. La Cueva started in 1986 with 1200 students ranging from Freshman to Juniors. [ [ La Cueva High School website] ]


La Cueva has been a New Mexico Exemplary School for the past three years, and the only APS high school to meet AYP.Fact|date=July 2008 According to, the high school is one of very few high schools in the city and the state to receive a GreatSchools rating of 10 of 10. The website also indicates their test scores are among the highest of any high school in the city. La Cueva has been recognized nationally by Redbook magazine as a “School of Excellence,” and produced a National Teacher of the Year. La Cueva offers a common variety of courses from practical and fine arts to various social studies classes, and numerous math and science classes. La Cueva Academic Decathlon has won a number of state championships and been recognized for excellence with outstanding performances at the national level.Fact|date=July 2008 The JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society) teams have been state champions every year since 1992.Fact|date=July 2008 DECA: Association of Marketing Students program has had many students place in national marketing competitions. The Model United Nations program has won 8 state first places and finished 3rd in the National Model UN program. Frances Gruette, a teacher of AP Calculus AB, was awarded one of the Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement. [ [ The Siemens' Foundtaion] ]

La Cueva has had national winners in the National Counsel of Teachers of English (NCTE) writing awards for the past eight years. Journalism and yearbook students have achieved state and national recognition for their work on school publications.Fact|date=July 2008 A number of La Cueva graduates are presently journalists writing for news publications throughout the country. The school has also produced over 150 National Merit Scholarship Finalists since 1988.Fact|date=July 2008


La Cueva High School is a New Activities Association (NMAA) AAAAA School in District 2.
LCHS competes in 18 NMAA Sport-Activity Events.

tate titles (since 2001) AAAAA

* Cross Country: 2004
* Football: 2003, 2004
* Soccer: 2002
* Basketball: 2003
* Swimming:
* Golf: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008
* Baseball: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008
* Tennis: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
* Track & Field: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006
* Wrestling: 2002Girls
* Cross Country:
* Cheerleading: 2002, 2006
* Volleyball:
* Soccer: 2002, 2004, 2006
* Basketball: 2008
* Swimming: 2001, 2008
* Golf: 2007
* Softball: 2005
* Tennis:
* Track & Field: 2004, 2005, 2007

During the 2004 to 2005 school year, the Bears baseball team briefly held the national record for consecutive wins. The Bears football team was undefeated for two seasons, losing its first game in the 2004-2005 year.Fact|date=April 2007

According to the school's website, the Bears have excelled on the athletic fields since school doors opened in 1986. The school has won a total of sixty-nine state championships, 226 district championships, and has been selected as the NMAA All-Sports Trophy winner 11 times for boys and 8 times for girls and were awarded the first ever Directors Cup honoring the total athletic program for the 2004-05 academic year. The school's first state championship came in 1987 as the La Cueva Girls' Cross Country team won the NM AAAA State Championship. La Cueva has had 29 High School All-Americans, 12 Gatorade Athletes of the Year, 6 APS Athletes of the Year, and 5 Tribune Athletes of the Year. Former Bears include Olympians Lance Ringnald (88) and Nate DiPalma (93). Collegiate All-Americans include Amy Warner (01), Kristen Graczyk (02), Randy Wells (07), Richie Hansen (95), Jennifer Hommert (95), Anna Tuttle (95), Doug Zembiec (91), Jeff Rowland (02). AJ Bramlett (Basketball) (05) played on the University of Arizona's national championship team and Nick Speegle (2000) was drafted and presently plays football for the Cleveland Browns. Sports Illustrated ranked the Bears as the 24th best overall sports high school in the country.

Extracurricular activities

La Cueva has a wide variety of extracurricular activities including:
Science Olympiad, Science Bowl, Speech and Debate, The Big Bad Bear Band, Foreign Language Clubs, National Honor Society, Key Club, Asian Club, BSU, MCJROTC, Newspaper (The Edition), and a few others.

La Cueva's JROTC program has gained national recongnition, and La Cueva's MJROTC has the highest academy placement ratio in the country.The Air Rifle Team has been the top state team since it began in 2000 and has placed in the top five air rifle teams in the nation for the past five years. [ [ La Cueva High School website] ]

"The Edition", which is the school's newspaper, has received recognition mostly in part because it is the only high school newspaper within APS to not undergo prior review.Fact|date=July 2008 Jo Ann Coffee, La Cueva's principal, has strong views against prior review, saying it limits the rights of her students. The paper's advisor, Pat Graff, has received national recognition for her teaching. She has won numerous awards from the state of New Mexico, as well as been inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. [ [ National Teachers Hall of Fame ] ]

The La Cueva Art Department students have consistently produced the finest artwork in the city and state at the Metro Art Show and the Focus Excellence awards. The music department has produced outstanding musicians and national recording artists - Crystal Yoakum (01), Tony Vincent Strascina (91), Jennifer Varnado (90) and Colin O'Malley (92), who writes and directs movie scores for Disney. The drama department has produced actors and actresses - Neil Patrick Harris (91), Freddie Prinze, Jr. (94), Kim Bigsby (96) and Teri Conn (93). Tony Strascina (91) is a Tony Award winning actor and Neil Harris (91) is a People's Choice Award winning actor.

La Cueva High School's band has also gained national and state recognition. According to - the school band's official website - the band (which is composed of more than 190 students) has won awards in marching and concert seasons, as well as jazz. They have competed in cities all over the country, including Anaheim, New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Diego, Dallas, and San Antonio. In 2006-2007, they marched in the Bands of America Regional championships in Flagstaff, Arizona, as well as the Albuquerque competitions Pageant of Bands, the UNM Zia Marching Festival, and the NMSU Tournament of Bands. As a concert band, they traveled to Anaheim, California, where they swept their Festival of Bands competition with Best Concert Band, Best Jazz Band, and numerous individual awards. They're looking forward to an exciting 2007-2008 season, marching to Stravinsky's Firebird and Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake suites.

Notable alumni

* James Parr - Major League Baseball Player
* Major Douglas A. Zembiec
* Freddie Prinze, Jr. - actor
* Neil Patrick Harris - actor [ [ IMDb bio of Neil Patrick Harris] ]
* Tony Strascina - actor [ [ La Cueva High School : School Information ] ]


External links

* [ La Cueva website]

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