School Counseling Department

School Counseling Assistant: Lucy Belian
505.663.2797  •

Michelle Harrison:

All Freshmen

Rebekah Dawn Watkins: 

Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors, Last Name: A-G

Cristin Haake: 

Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors, Last Name: H-O

Cindy Black:

Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors, Last Name: P-Z

Welcome to Naviance!  Naviance is a college and career planning resource for students. This program helps students plan their educational path. While using Naviance a student can complete inventories that will help define their strengths and interests. They can then find courses of study that utilize those strengths and see what careers match up with those findings. Scholarship information is available as is college application information. Scholarship and college applications can be stored for future reference.

Click here to go to Naviance

Career and College Planning

The Career & College Resource Center is located in the IMC and is available to all students at Los Alamos High School.  The CCRC is here to assist students with the transition from high school into college, vocational or technical school, the military or a chosen career path. There is information on colleges, scholarships, ACT and SAT exams, and career options.

Point of Contact:  Susan Segler 663-2595 or

School of Choice

The Mission of the School of Choice is to provide an alternate path to graduation by helping the students become self-disciplined, effective learners.

Current School of Choice News:

Why is school attendance important? Why do the School of Choice teachers care so much whether their students attend? Besides the fact that the School of Choice curriculum is designed to be taught, learned and demonstrated in the classroom, thousands of educational studies have shown that the poorer the attendance rate for a student, the lower the academic skills are. Check out this link to see just a few of the many studies that prove that student attendance directly affects how well that student learns–starting in Kindergarten:

“I can’t stay awake when I read!” Click here for Active Reading Strategies!

School of Choice courses and staff:
SOC English 10, English 11, and English 12: Whitney Pomeroy
SOC Algebra 2: Melissa Laeser
SOC Geometry: Melissa Laeser
SOC Government / Economics and SOC US History: Jon Frost
SOC Chemistry: Shelley Clark
SOC Biology: Katie Tauxe

School of Choice (SOC) is an alternate program within Los Alamos High School that is intended to reach students who have a strong desire to learn and who want to graduate but who are failing their core classes.

SOC students typically are those who work hard and focus in class, participate well, are abstract thinkers, and are creative, but who fail when it comes to homework and tests. Typical SOC students have high academic ability but have outside factors that affect their ability to complete work after school. SOC classes design curriculum to be taught and demonstrated in the classroom setting. Learning is done very quickly, at an advanced rate; thus, attendance is vital to student success. The goal is to help students learn to think, analyze, and apply their knowledge, and to be able to take pride in their work.

The coursework covers the same Common Core Standards as general LAHS courses; however, the work may seem even more challenging due to the nature of the higher-level thinking that is expected of students and the fast pace of the classes. Extensive in-class reading and writing are part of the program, which includes frequent use of computers.

Due to the nature of the work, there are no freshman courses offered in the School of Choice program.

In order to be considered for the School of Choice program, students must apply and go through a formal interview process. It’s important to note that not all students who apply are interviewed, and not all students who are interviewed are accepted into the program. Students who are accepted must earn a 70% in each of their SOC classes in order to earn credit and in order to stay in the program.

Application process

  1. To apply, the student must first go to the Guidance Office and discuss SOC with his or her guidance counselor.
  2. The counselor may give the student an SOC application, if deemed appropriate.
  3. The student must then fill out the application with his or her parents, return it to the counselor for her signature, and turn it in to Mrs. Pomeroy.
  4. Parents are generally contacted within two weeks of receipt of the application to set up an interview with the student and the parents.
  5. After the interview, the student’s current teachers and/or guidance counselor may be contacted to discuss the student’s appropriateness for the SOC program.
  6. Parents are generally notified within three weeks of the interview or by the end of the semester (if interviewing for the following year) regarding whether or not their son / daughter was accepted. Students who interview in the spring for the following school year will not be notified until late-May.
  7. If accepted, the SOC staff notifies the appropriate guidance counselor, and the student’s schedule is changed to incorporate SOC courses.

Acceptance to School of Choice is based on the student application, the student interview, and LAHS teacher feedback.

Students, for more information, please contact your guidance counselor. If you have further questions, you may contact

Whitney Pomeroy, SOC Department Chair, at 663-2586 or

Interesting stats:

  • Average overall annual enrollment in the SOC program:  45
  • SOC class cap:  14 students
  • On average, 95% of SOC students graduate from high school.
  • According to graduated SOC students who are now attending college, SOC helped them not only to graduate but also to understand how to learn actively, how to problem-solve, how to analyze advanced fiction and non-fiction text, how to research and write well, how to work in teams, and how to manage their time / keep themselves focused on the task at hand.
  • On average, 85% had considered dropping out of high school before entering the SOC program.
  • The following article excerpt was taken from the New York Times:

M.I.T. has made a striking change.

The physics department has replaced the traditional large introductory lecture with smaller classes that emphasize hands-on, interactive, collaborative learning. Last fall, after years of experimentation and debate and resistance from students, who initially petitioned against it, the department made the change permanent. Already, attendance is up and the failure rate has dropped by more than 50 percent.

M.I.T. is not alone. Other universities are changing their ways, among them Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, North Carolina State University, the University of Maryland, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Harvard. In these institutions, physicists have been pioneering teaching methods drawn from research showing that most students learn fundamental concepts more successfully, and are better able to apply them, through interactive, collaborative, student-centered learning.

Gifted and Talented (GATE)

The GATE program at Los Alamos High School is based on the autonomous learner model. GATE students pursue a project focusing on an area of personal interest. The project should address topics that are outside or beyond the high school curriculum.  Each participating student will also attend an IEP (individualized educational plan) meeting and develop an IEP in conjunction with his or her GATE case manager.

LAHS GATE uses a pullout model. GATE students will have formal meeting with their peers once every six weeks. Students will also meet with their GATE case managers independently, as needed or desired. Students will have the choice of meeting times, depending on students’ schedules and case manager schedules. During the group meetings, students will discuss and troubleshoot their projects with other GATE students, and they will make goals that they will try to meet before the next group meeting. The individual meeting topics are tailored to the student’s individual needs. The last group meeting of the school year will be used for project presentations.

Students will not receive school credit or a grade on their transcripts for participating in GATE. However, many students who have remained in the GATE program have stated that they enjoy the camaraderie of the group meetings and the connections that they make with the case managers. Additionally, students enjoy the external motivation to do something on their own that they enjoy.

Whitney Pomeroy:  505-663-2586   •         ♦      Catherine Puranananda:  505-663-2592  •

Students, if you plan to stay active in the GATE program, let your case manager (Ms. Pomeroy or Ms. Puranananda) know so we can plan to schedule an IEP meeting with you in the fall. Alternately, if you plan to exit, let your case manager know so we can fill out exit forms. Students who did not actively participate in GATE this year will be exited from the program. You can always re-join GATE by contacting your case manager at any time during your high school career!

The Los Alamos Public Schools Student Services Department is available to assist GATE parents and students.  You can learn more about LAPS special education, placement procedures, and other related services by clicking here on this link.

•    Technical Assistance Manual for Gifted Education in NM
•    NMAG Resource Guide for Parents & Educators of Gifted Learners
•    GATE-type projects are beneficial for college acceptance!
 Check it out click here!