McCurdy - Where we've been and where we're going

Where we've been

Ms. Mellie

Miss Mellie Perkins, a deaconess in the United Brethren Church, came to Espanola in 1909 to buy fruit. When she saw that the children of Velarde had no school, she bought some abandoned land and started her mission work. She was given a generous amount of money from the Hauser family, and bought the property and Miss Perkins became missionary. In the spring of 1915, Ms. Perkins started a second mission here in Santa Cruz. She first rented a small adobe building, named the Borrego House, to start classes. This was the first building at McCurdy School, sadly the building is no longer standing but the pictures remain.

McCurdy School was named after Edith May McCurdy, who was the teacher and good friend of Mellie Perkins. Edith McCurdy was raised in a United Brethren family in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1909. She went on to teach at Campbell College in Holton, Kansas, where she taught Mellie Perkins in Spanish. They became good friends and Ms.McCurdy supported Ms.Perkins in her mission work through encouraging letters and gifts of money. Ms.McCurdy became sick and returned home to Pennsylvania and died in 1914. After her death, her parents Mr. and Mrs.Elmer McCurdy gave 1,000 dollars to the Northern New Mexico mission work, in memory of their daughter.

Ms.Mellie started three missions and three schools, McCurdy being one of them. Her three missions were the Velarde Mission, Alcalde Mission, and the Vallecitos Mission. The Velarde mission started in 1912, when Ms.Perkins arrived in Velarde and used the existing chapel for school and church services. The mission school grew and served them for many years. Although the school closed in 1966, the church in Velarde continues today. The Alcalde mission began in a rented house in 1917. The first building in 1920, served as a school, church, and teacher’s housing. The Alcalde school closed in 1980, but the church work continues there today. The Vallecitos mission work began in 1930 at a house provided by the Amador family. The church was built in 1936 and also contained a classroom. The school closed in 1970, but the church work continued until June, 1997.

A growing school

When Ms.Perkins first came to Santa Cruz in 1915, she rented a small building known as the Borrego House, and dedicated as “The Edith M. McCurdy Mission” in November 1915. The building was called Herrick House named in honor of sisters Ms. Delia Herrick and Ms. Zella Herrick. It has served many purposes including dormitories, classrooms, home economic classes, administrative offices, nurse’s office, and Gala office. After the flu epidemic of 1919, a new building was needed in Santa Cruz to provide a girl’s dormitory and dining space. Built in 1921, the building was named in honor of Ms.Lena Blake, who was the girl’s housemother, community worker, and teacher at McCurdy Mission for over 30 years. In 1970, the building was not used any more, so the dormitories were remodeled into classrooms, a weight room, and a locker room. It is now known as Blake Hall and is not used for school purposes. The school chapel and community church were built in 1917. The weekly school chapel services were held here until the late 1960s, when they were moved to Santa Cruz United Methodist Church. In 1996, a work team was killed by a plane crash during their group stay here, and a window designed by one of the workers, was placed above the door of the former chapel. The window was presented to McCurdy and dedicated in memory of the students. These were the first buildings at McCurdy.

Today, historic buildings are still being used at McCurdy Charter School. The Pringle Student Center was built in 1972 and used for the cafeteria, meeting rooms, after school program, and the football concession. Now it just holds classrooms and the cafeteria. It was named in honor of Rev. Dolph and Mrs. Gwen Pringle, who were missionaries at McCurdy from 1947 to 1984. The Irene Cole High School Building was built in 1954, to house the high school office, library, and 6 classrooms. Three extra classes were added in 1964. The space between these buildings was turned into a locker room many years later. The building was named after Ms. Irene Cole in 1997, who was the missionary teacher and officer worker for over 40 years and a full time volunteer for more than 10 years. During that time she set up the Historical Room, which has all the history of McCurdy. Bachman Hall, was first occupied as a boy’s dormitory in January 1950 until 1982. The upstairs rooms were used for volunteer housing and the downstairs rooms were used for in-suspension classrooms. Bachman Hall now holds our administration offices. It was named after Ms.Irene Bachman, who was a missionary from 1926 to 1951, a teacher, and a boy’s dorm parent.

McCurdy isn't McCurdy without McCracken

McCurdys original sports facilities are still being used today. McCracken gym was originally built in 1931, but a fire destroyed the building before it was fully completed. The fire led to the creation of a local fire department in Espanola.Superintendent Glen McCracken, rebuilt the building right away using insurance proceeds and local materials from the penitentiary in Santa Fe. The rebuilt gym was completed in 1932, and at the time was the only gymnasium from Santa Fe to Taos. Dressing rooms and an all purpose room were added in 1965. The building was dedicated in 1940, when alumni asked that it be named in honor of Dr.McCracken. In 1987, a new gym was definitely needed by McCurdy School, so Memorial Sports Center was built. The new gym provided a regulation sized playing area, larger and more sanitary locker areas, and more room for fans. It also included classrooms, a weight room, and an upstairs storage facility. It is named Memorial to honor several people who contributed to athletics over the years at McCurdy, and it is home to retired jerseys of former players. McCurdy’s Chic Martinez Football Field, was the first grass football field in north central New Mexico. It was named in honor of J.M. “Chic” Martinez, a member of the first high school graduating class of 1926, who returned after college to teach and coach for over 20 years.

Laila R. & Megan A.

Where we're going...

As you may know, our great school McCurdy will be receiving a brand new school into the two weeks on June. After speaking to our principal Mrs. Quintana, we couldn’t see more excitement from her. She looking forward to seeing the student excitement and what they do with this new school. Hopefully our students could be respectful and care for our brand new school and keep it clean. We thank all the administrators and any staff that helped us get our new school.

`After speaking to our Athletic Director and seeing his point of view on the new building, we could really see lots of excitement. Our builders are VIP construction from Arizona. After purchasing land of two current structures the total cost of the school will come out to 8-9 million dollars. This school is to make less access from the public. This new school is guaranteed is safier security because all students will be in one area. The security is actually what the Mr. Lopez is looking most forward to. Keeping all the students safe is very important to our McCurdy staff. The school can take a total of 586 students and we are looking into getting 575 next year.

We’d like to thank Mrs. Archuleta for helping us get this new building. Mr. Lopez was sure to give her the most credit for the new building for filling out all of the paper work and going to meetings after meetings to get us where we are now. Thank you Mrs. Archuleta for our new school. By the two first weeks into June our teachers will be already moved in after getting the certificate to clear everything. We also thank all our builders and everybody putting hard work for our new school.

Angie A. & Avianna M.

A Staff Sampling

Kiva Duckworth-Moulton, Elementary Principal

Ms. Kiva, the principal of the elementary part of our school and she had some pretty interesting things to say.

One of the things being asked was: How did you get to be a principal at this school?

She said that she was invited to be interviewed by Ms. Archuleta and the board. She said she was more than happy to.

Another thing being asked was what she had liked about the school. She had said that it is small and she can get to know the students and families just a little bit more and she’s more than happy to do it.

She was then asked about the things that she would like to improve about the school next year and she had said that she wants to increase the opportunities for the students and also she wanted some more clubs and electives for the high school students just so they can expand more in the high school life. She also added that she would like to improve school attendance for students.

Her favorite part of being a principal is just getting to know the students and how everything is around her in the environment. She admires being here and you can definitely see it when she talks to students and parents.

Some fun facts about Ms. Kiva are:

  1. She grew up in Dixon

  2. She went to high school in Santa Fe

  3. She has been in a book club for at least 15 years

  4. The most watched movie to her would be Princess Bride

  5. She’s a drinker of tea and not coffee

Overall, she explains her experience here to be very satisfying just know she can do what she can to make our students great and she will continue to do so for as long as she’s here. You can definitely see that she admires working here and she wouldn’t mind being there for any students that come her way. She is very passionate in what she does and it’s always amazing to see someone like that in the community and to have that at our school which is highly appreciated. So thank you Ms. Kiva for being such a great person.

Veronica M.

Meet Mr. Ashman

A staff member that I interviewed is Thomas A. He teaches English Honors classes, Philosophy, and Debate. He came to be a teacher at the school mostly because he was unable to find a job within the Taos area so he started looking around neighboring areas and found McCurdy. When he was asked what he likes best about McCurdy his response was: “Because of the small populated but dedicated students we have here it's nice, I get to have smaller classes which allows me to get to know each student.”

He believes the school will improve in a lot of ways which includes having bigger space, bigger classrooms, working library and working bathrooms, which he is very excited for. On another note he would like to see improvements himself with the school providing more art vocationally and studies for the students here. Since Mr. Ashman has been here for five years, he is extremely happy to get a new building to teach his students.

A second question I asked Mr. Ashman was if he thinks that having a new school will improve students behavior, he replied: “Some of them will appreciate the new space, but kids will be kids and we will have problems with them, but I think most of them will take care of it.”

Being a student of Mr. Ashman, his teaching methods are great. Since I'm in his English Honors class, he teaches us by using novels his strategy for using books mostly involve finding the theme and symbols within the book, but also teaches us that not every author's stories are the same in other words each person's writing are unique and different though books consist of same genre. After all the English teachers I had, I have to say Mr.Ashman is the greatest no other teacher teaches like him, I say Mr.Ashman teaches somewhat of a college level and expects all his students to do their best in whatever assignment that he assigns us.

Sienna B.

Beat-boxer Berryhill

When I asked Mrs. Berryhill, “What brought you to McCurdy?”, she replied with “I was looking for a job, and I heard McCurdy was a rough and tuff school, so I hopped on the offer!”. Berryhill then continued to say, “The three years I have been at McCurdy, I think i like my students the best!” “Over the years I have formed some really great connections with some of them.”. When I asked her what she liked least, she said, “My paycheck.” “Why?” I asked, she said, “ Because it is pretty weak.” I asked her, “How do you like your co-workers?” and she replied with, “They are another reason I love working here.”.

I asked her to describe her typical work day, she proceeded to say “ My typical workday is um, usually stress free and fun, but now towards the end of the year it gets pretty stressful.” When I asked her, “What is the most challenging?”, she said “Most challenging would probably be, controlling my patience.”. I continued to ask her, “How do you feel about focusing on common core?”. She replied with, “I feel like we should stick to just science, I have to use english and language arts standards.” “I feel like I should be able to teach all my students at their own pace, rather than teaching everyone at the same pace.

Chris N.

Anna Espinoza - Elementary Secretary

In a full interview with McCurdy Charter Schools Elementary Secretary, Anna Espinoza, she tells us about all the things a secretary does in a full day of work/school.

During our interview, I asked “Do you like what you do?”

She replied with “I love my job”!

I asked, "What is it that you do in your job?"

She told me: “Lot’s of different things, I do the data entry, the lunch count, attendance, nursing, maintenance, and also custodian work so basically a secretary’s job is pretty much a little bit of everything rolled up into one."

I also asked Ms. Anna what brought her to McCurdy. Anna’s response was, “I had been retired for many years, I missed the person to person interaction. I also challenged myself to see if I still had the skills.”

She also said she likes the people, the students, everyone is very nice and respectful. Campus faculty, everyone is awesome. Everything is great, good hours very convenient she arrives everyday at 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

I asked if she has any hopes or expectations for the new school next year. She also replied with “Next year will already be better starting new,Ii also hope they have good teachers and plenty more subs, I hope for better bathrooms as well.”

I would like to thank all the secretaries out there who are making sure things get done, especially our very own Ms. Anna!

Caitlin C.

Dolores Salazar - Secondary Counselor

Mrs. Dolores the school counselor says she is content with how things are now and have been at McCurdy Charter School throughout the past years. She thinks that this year, 2017, has been the best year McCurdy has had. Everyone has contributed. Everyone is more used to everything. Both the staff and the students know what is expected from them.

“This year was a more proficient because everyone knows what needs to be taken care of and everything is getting done faster and better,” she says.

She thinks that Moving into the new school building will be a great success. She feels like it will take us a while to figure out how to be successful in that new building. Maybe a few months. What does she mean by successful? Things like how to sort out the bells, dealing with halls, passing periods etc.

She thinks that one of the hardest things to get used to will be the students getting used to having most of their classes in one hall. McCurdy school students are not used to all being in the same building. Throughout the past years they have had space, freedom, we could say. Being able to walk around campus but now it’ll be different and they will just have to get used to it.The new school will be ready by mid June, she is very excited. She will of course miss her old office, she spent many years there. But, she is ready for a new start for McCurdy. Initially it will bring up some issues, she says. As with everything new, there are issues. But throughout the months and all the effort everyone will put it will all work out great.

Mrs. Dolores says that she is most proud of how the students have improved and continued to be successful.

Heidy C.

Sports & Activities

McCurdy Boys Take State

On May 6, 2017 , Jayson Bustos, Marcos Gonzales, Ernesto Martinez and Gabriel Huerta won the state championship in the 4x2 relay. While I was watching these guys run as if there was an animal chasing them I couldn’t even imagine the way they were probably feeling. Before the race they were all stretching and jumping up and down just waiting to start their race. They won state with a time of 1:33.9 and they also broke the school record for that relay! Congratulations guys, your coaches and McCurdy family are all proud!

Samantha B.

Who Rules Javelin? Girls Do!

Who says girls aren’t strong? Well you’re wrong, our great student athletes Katelyn Tafoya and Rianna Griego proved otherwise. Both girls qualified to throw Javelin at state and both placed! That is a great self accomplishment and it sure makes our school look great, especially at sports! Rianna threw 92’11” placing 6th in state and Katelyn threw 94” 11’ placing 5th in state. You girls are both very strong and are good role models for next years athletes . Great job, we are all proud!

Samantha B.


This week we interviewed the senior Isaac Fresquez about his past experiences on the baseball team. According to him, their hardest match was Raton. His position on the team was short stop. This year the team managed to make it to the state championship. They might not have won, but they did make it pretty far down the line.

Overall he says that the team did okay, but there were many ways in which it can be improved. One of their biggest obstacles was getting the team to take practice seriously. He also said that the biggest obstacle that the team will face in the future is finding a good enough replacement for him. We can only wish his replacement luck!

Ruby S.

Girl's Softball

Although our softball team didn’t make it to state, they worked hard and accomplished what they could in our new Class 3-A division. It was a tough district and it was even more devastating losing their head pitcher, Zoe Serrano, and head catcher, Helena Naranjo, due to ACL knee injuries. These girls will be back to play their hearts out next year and plan to accomplish more than they could’ve this year. The team had a record of 7 wins and 10 losses. It was a tough season, but the team is sad to be having their seniors gone next year, which are: Amanda Romero, Rianna Griego, and Vianae Altamirano. Next years players plan to have a better season and hopefully make it to state. They would also like to thank their coach Christian Lopez for never giving up on them.

Samantha B.

Prom 2017

Prom is a memorable event where you get a chance to get dressed up and have a fun night with your friends.This year’s prom was held on April 29th at Mccurdy High school in the gymnasium.The gym was completely transformed for prom with sparkling lights and handmade decorations. It was noticeable that the juniors worked hard on preparing for this night. I asked a couple McCurdy students that attended the prom about their experience.

Ruby Salazar, a junior at Mccurdy, said her favorite part was dancing with her friends and it was cool to win princess. She really liked how the decorations came out and it was really fun making them. She also liked the candy bar because it was unique touch that most people seemed to really enjoy. She thought there could have been more of theme with this years prom, but overall it was a good experience and she’s excited to go again next year.

Jasmine Marquez, another junior at McCurdy who was also on the prom decorating committee, said her favorite part was the decorations, hanging out with her friends and date, and also the live music which she wished more people would have danced to. She said her experience was really fun and thought compared to the other proms she’s attended that this one had the best music.She said she will definitely go again next year.

Anika L.

This year’s prom at McCurdy Charter high school was held in the McCracken gym on April 29th. At first when students heard the prom was going to be held in the gym a lot of them were very upset because they didn’t want to have it at the school. A lot of the seniors were upset that the juniors didn’t save up enough money to have them a good prom at a nicer place than our school gym. However people’s opinions changed when they actually went to the dance and had a lot of fun.

Since we didn’t have to pay for a venue the juniors had a lot more money to spend on decorations. They decorated a lot and had a lot of cool new ideas that they used to help make the gym look very nice. We even had a band this year and I think that a lot people liked the live music instead of a DJ like we usually get. There were a lot more people dancing this year and everyone seemed like they had a really good time.

After asking people what they liked best about that night a few people said that they really liked the decorations and that the gym looked really nice. The two favorites that I found among the students was the candy bar and the picture booth. Everyone had a really good time and a lot of people even said that they liked prom better in our gym then where we usually have it at the delta. I would say that overall it was a very successful night for everyone.

McCurdy gets creative

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Letter to the editor

Dear Newsletter Class,

The "service learning" class you are referring to [in the 8th period newsletter] is actually Restorative Justice. What we do in this class is surprising because we help people and make it a safe place for kids to confront their feelings. The students that came in that day to observe our class did not get the full experience because they only stayed for a few minutes. The student that wrote this mentioned that everybody seemed like they weren't paying attention and were zoned out but if that were the case we wouldn't have had a group discussion about the topic afterwards. The article she read was actually pretty interesting and all the class participated and thought what she had read to us was a good thing to know. The article she read to us about water conservation and how we can make the world a better place which is an important thing to discuss because if we don't keep the world safe then we all die! We were offended by what was put in the Newsletter because what was said isn't true, we all enjoy coming to this 8th period class to share our thoughts with. We'd appreciate it a lot if you'd reconsider what you wrote in last week's newsletter and take into consideration that this is an important class even if it didn't seem like it during those few minutes that student was observing.

Thank you,

Restorative Justice Class

Newsletter Staff

Supervising Teacher: Mrs. T