Alumni Connection – Summer 2017

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Greetings Menaul School Alumni,

It is my pleasure to present to you the inaugural edition of the Alumni Connection, a quarterly email newsletter that is all about you! Each spring, summer, fall, and winter, we will let you know what is going on with your fellow alumni. We will also keep you updated on alumni events on campus, such as Homecoming and Golden Graduates. Much of the content in this newsletter will come from you, so send wedding and birth announcements, graduations, promotions, stories, obituaries, and any other news you have about yourself, your family, and your alumni families and friends to or call me at (505) 341-7233. Also, keep us updated if you change your address, phone number, or email address.

I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Kim Sanchez, and I am a Class of 2000 alumna. I spent much of my childhood around the Menaul School campus, as my cousins and sister are all alumni as well. My grandparents, mother, aunt, and uncle were active in the Booster Club in the 90s, grilling burgers and corn and selling photo buttons at football and basketball games. Like you, I have a history with Menaul School and many of my closest friendships are with my fellow alumni.

We would love for you to come visit any time, and especially around Homecoming and Graduation! Be sure to stop by our Alumni Hospitality Tent at the Homecoming game and sign in with us to receive a gift. If it is your class reunion year, remember to get your medallion and meet us at halftime to be recognized with your classmates.

I look forward to hearing about what is going on in your lives and seeing you around campus!




Kimberly Sanchez ‘00
Assistant Advancement Associate
(505) 341-7233

Golden Graduates – Class of 1967

Every year, along with the graduating class, we also celebrate our Golden Graduates. This year it was the Class of 1967. Our golden graduates spent three days reminiscing with their Golden Gradsclassmates, some of whom they had not seen in 50 years! They started out with a cocktail party in Old Brick on Thursday night. On Friday they shared their experiences and their yearbooks with the Class of 2017, at the same time hearing about the graduating seniors’ lives at Menaul School. Then they spent the evening on Head of School Lindsey Gilbert’s patio, enjoying appetizers before heading to Baccalaureate. The weekend ended with our Golden Graduates leading the procession into the commencement ceremony.

We love having our alumni back on campus!

Alumni/MCA Legacy Scholarship

The Menaul Allison James Alumni MCA Legacy ScholarshipAssociation has teamed up with Maria Cordova Andrews, a teacher and counselor at Menaul for 40 years, to establish the Alumni/MCA Legacy Scholarship Fund. This scholarship remains true to Menaul School’s roots, benefitting the populations who originally attended Menaul School: the Native American pueblo and Tribal people of New Mexico and Arizona, the Hispanic populations of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado, California, and Eastern Texas, and other native New Mexican populations. Thanks to your efforts, we have raised almost $12,000 and benefitted four students for the 2016-2017 school year! Thank you to everyone who has donated, and thank you Maria and the Menaul Allison James Alumni Association for your continued support and dedication to the students at Menaul School!

Alumni Business Directory Coming Soon!

We are beginning to work on a directory of businesses connected to Alumni and their families. If you or your family own, manage, or are connected to a business and would like it to be included in our directory for the Menaul School community, please send the business name, address, web address, email, and phone number, as well as your connection to the business to If you would like us to include the logo for the business, please include a high resolution image.

Alumni News

Adam Cherry ’96 was named as one of Albuquerque Business First’s 2017 class of 40 Under Forty. Adam is the sales manager at Desert Greens Equipment, Inc.

Ariel (Baca) Varoz ’09 and her husband, Andrew, welcomed their second child, Luke, on April 1, 2017. Ariel and Andrew also have a 5 year old daughter, Sophia.

Alyssa Garcia ’12 was accepted into the Disney College Program at Disney World in Orlando in January 2017.

In Loving Memory

Marie A. (Gonzales) Vasquez ’42 went home in the arms of her Savior on Sunday, August 14, 2016. She was born in Chacon, New Mexico on March 4, 1920. Marie loved talking about her life in Chacon, Menaul High School (Class of 1942) and her faith in the Lord. Marie will be remembered by the love she gave her family and friends, the hands that never tired of cooking, sewing and making beautiful things to share with so many. Marie was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Bennie; her parents, and her five siblings. Survivors include Margaret (Roy Cruz), Bennie Jr (Mary), Leroy (Sylvia); seven grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; as well as other family members and friends who loved and will miss her greatly. She was a longtime member of Second Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque.

ArndtErnestine (Garcia) Arndt ’46 Ernestine Garcia Arndt passed with peace and grace in her home on June 11, 2017. She was born in Holman, NM in 1928 and spent the early part of her life in Chacon, NM. She attended Allison James in Santa Fe, Menaul School in Albuquerque, received a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity University and a Master’s Degree from the University of New Mexico. Ernestine taught Spanish at Hoover Middle also Manzano and Eldorado High, retiring in 1988. She co-founded Menaul School Veterans fund to honor Menaul’s military veterans of WWII and Korea. She took pride in efforts to raise money to replace the auditorium seats and carpet at Menaul School. She was recognized and received the Harper C. Donaldson Outstanding Alumni Award in 2003. She always said the Great Depression had no effect on her and her family because of their life in the beautiful Chacon valley. This rural and church community stayed with Ernestine throughout her life. It was a constant reminder of wonderful times. Ernestine loved her Presbyterian family at both El Rito Presbyterian of Chacon and Second Presbyterian of Albuquerque. Her favorite pastimes were dancing, singing and sweet desserts. She married, traveled to Europe twice, once on the ship USS Buckner and lived in Germany, both Tegernsee and Mannheim. She had the great experience of vacationing in Spain, Italy and Greece. Ernestine was preceded in death by two brothers, Celestino Garcia and Ulysses Garcia. She is survived by four sisters, Lydia Garcia Ras-Allard, Naomi Miller, Hope Mares, Pauline Cummings; two brothers, Albert Garcia and Benjamin Garcia; three sons, Arthur Paul Arndt, Michael Charles Arndt and Steven Larry Arndt; five grandchildren, Miles Kendrick Arndt, Lucas Bartell Arndt, Heather Marie Bartel, David Christopher Arndt, and Shelby Christine Arndt; and five great-grandchildren, Aiden Russell Arndt, Kenley Nicole Arndt, Cadance Samantha Bartel, Nathaniel Albert Bartel and Olivia Eric Bartel

OrtizViola Ortiz ’48 a resident of Albuquerque passed away suddenly on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 in Apple Valley, CA. She was born in Terrero, NM to Margarito and Ginoveva Ortiz and grew up in Chimayo, NM. She attended John Hyson School, Allison James School and graduated from Menaul School with the Class of 1948. She worked at the Motor Vehicle Department, Espanola Hospital, Dr. Friedman’s office as an Admin and Nurses Aide and at the Media Center and Library at West Mesa High School and Cibola High School. She retired from APS in 2002 after 34 years of service. She was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Samuel, Anselmo and Arnulfo and one sister, Dora Ortiz. She is survived by her five children, Yolanda Armijo (Mike), Larry Medina, Elena Musgraves, Ralph Medina (Mary) and Viviana Gallegos (David); two sisters, Veronica Griego and Annabella Hunt (Carroll); eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews and many friends. She was a loving and caring mother, an extremely hard worker and was God’s faithful servant throughout her life. Now God has taken her home.

Esther Tomasita Romero ’55 of El Valle, died Friday, March 17, 2017. Ms. Romero was born March 9, 1934, the second daughter of Juan de Dios and Francisquita Romero. She graduated Menaul High School in Albuquerque in 1955. After graduating she cared for her parents at the family ranch and continued to live there after their death. Ms. Romero was an accomplished rancher, farmer, gardener, home maker and talented quilt maker. She was preceded in death by her parents, two infant brothers, an infant sister and sister Loida Ortiz, Chimayó. Ms. Romero is survived by her brother Gerson T. Romero, El Valle; sisters Anna Hayes, Lexington, Okla. and Martha Parr, New Braunfels, Texas and many other relatives and friends.

FinchRhiannon Finch (Renita Opstedal) ’94 lived a life of love. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico May 15, 1976, she passed peacefully in the arms of her partner, Richard Boucher, on January 24, 2017. She is also survived by her husband, Aron Finch. She was a proud and loving aunt to her nephew, Kylen Opstedal, and will be forever missed by her brother and his wife, Chilion and Heather Opstedal. She was predeceased by Matthew Brians and Anthony J. Opstedal. Rhiannon was a community organizer who always worked to provide a safe space and inclusive environment for everyone. Always striving to bring beauty and joy into the world, Rhiannon was an accomplished belly dancer and delighted in sharing dance with others. She loved crewing for various balloons during Albuquerque’s annual Balloon Fiesta. She had a kind heart, impeccable fashion sense, and the perfect smile for any occasion. If you knew Rhiannon, then you most certainly knew of her laugh and mischievous sense of humor. Recognizing the complexities of the universe but always being a nonconformist, Rhiannon was very spiritual and proud to identify as a Jungian Pantheist. Rhiannon loved her animals. She will be greatly missed by her calico, Callie, but will now meet Jade, Magic, Angel, ugly-cute Walter, and a thousand guppies on the Rainbow Bridge. Rhiannon grew up in Albuquerque and graduated from Menaul High School. Always precocious, she valued her education, took pleasure in learning, and was a voracious reader. She was a member of the flag corps and spent her life always encouraging and uplifting those around her. Rhiannon loved everything to do with Christmas, and laughed with us as we set bets as to when she would take down her decorations. Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day were popular bets. Rhiannon’s spirit, joy, and love of life will live on in all of us. She touched so many lives and will be greatly missed by many people including: Manda Baca, Lori Bacollini, Diane Bogan-Wolf, Donald and Mary Lee Brians, Phillip Burk, Katie Fletcher, Bill Hochheiser, Tammy Hubbard, Diana Joseph, Sandra Joseph, Melissa Larntz, Michael Opstedal, and Jillian Szilagyi.

ManzanaresAlejandro A. Manzanares ‘96, born October 23, 1978 in Los Alamos, New Mexico, passed away on Monday, August 1, 2016. Alejandro is preceded in death by his father, Daniel Lee Manzanares; mother, Linda Ray Manzanares; and brother, Manuel Manzanares. Mr. Manzanares is survived by his wife, Angela Manzanares; children, Audrey, Patricia and Gabriel Manzanares; brothers, Elias Manzanares of Albuquerque and Tranquelino Manzanares and companion, Yvonne of Santa Fe; nephew, Jaysiah Manzanares; niece, Ashley Manzanares; grandparents, Fermin and Marylou Chavez, and many aunts, uncles, relatives and friends. A rosary will be recited at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 6, 2016 in the Sangre de Cristo Chapel of the DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory. Serving as honorary pallbearers are his brothers, niece and nephews.