Category Archives: News

Loud & Proud: Christmas Joy Video

Loud & Proud Christmas Message

By Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – When seventh grader La Brandon Spillman heard the news he was going to be able to go to Menaul School (grades 6-12), he was overjoyed. His mother, Ella Spillman, started crying.

She knew her 12-year-old African-American son’s chances for success were slim in their hometown of Albuquerque, where only 45 percent of racial-ethnic students graduate from high school.

The makeup of the Menaul School—a historically Presbyterian racial-ethnic school—is 83.5 percent non-European and its graduation rate 99 percent, with more than 98 percent of students going on to college.

“I was like wow, awesome, I get to go here,” says La Brandon, who used his own money from mowing lawns to pay for his school uniform. “There’s not many black people in good working jobs. So it’s critical for me to set the path to do it, so others can do it to.”

La Brandon’s mom Ella is disabled and hasn’t been able to work for a couple of years. One of the members of the African American scholarship committee at Menaul knew about Spillman’s situation and about the school’s desire to reach out to kid’s in Albuquerque’s underserved communities.’

“She called me, asked us to apply for a scholarship for La Brandon,” says Spillman. “It’s truly amazing, that God did that for my son.”

Mariposa Duran, whose ethnicity is Native American and Hispanic, is also thriving at Menaul. She’s an honor student, cheerleader and volleyball player. She wants to be a judge so that she can “help people with family issues.” If a parent is abusing their child she’d like to “straighten that out too.” One of things she like’s most about Menaul is that “the teachers are great” and that there’s not “anything big going on like drugs.”

Mariposa was placed in foster care just days after her birth, because her mother was unable to care for her. Mariposa’s maternal grandmother gained custody of Mariposa at four months, eventually adopting her.

“The ability to receive financial aid from the school means everything to people like me,” she says. “I’m a widow and single mom that wants the best for her child.”

Menaul President Lindsey Gilbert, Jr. says Mariposa and La Brandon are “exemplars” of dozens of kids at the school overcoming significant obstacles who will change their family’s futures.

“Mariposa has a powerful, wonderful spirit,” he says. “And La Brandon has an enthusiasm for learning. Both are contagious, and have become leaders in our school.”

Both mothers, Debra Duran and Ella Spillman are grateful to those who support the historical Presbyterian racial-ethnic school and colleges. Without it, they say their children would not have the opportunity to reach their full potential, to become an embodiment of Menaul’s mission to help students from underserved communities become servant leaders.

“I don’t know how to say thank you enough,” says a tearful Spillman. “But thank you. Without the help of aid from the scholarships my son would not be here.”


The importance of the racial ethnic schools and colleges of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is demonstrated in the continuing partnership between the two entities. The institutions have provided quality education to people who have contributed immeasurably to the church at large and to the world. Students are educated for the professions of their choice in an environment which supports and nurtures racial and ethnic heritage. Menaul School is one of five schools in the US that PC (US.) supports.

PC (USA) came out to Menaul School and put together a news release and video as part of their Christmas Joy Offering. Fifty percent of undesignated receipts to the Christmas Joy Offering are distributed to the Board of Pensions for assistance programs that provide support to retired and active church workers and their spouses and families. The other fifty percent supports Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges through the Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Menaul School is one of five schools that PC (USA) supports.


For more information on PC (USA) and their commitment to ethnic racial schools go to:

To support students like La Brandon and Mariposa—and their families— give to the Christmas Joy Offering which supports historically Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.

You can also give directly to Menaul School. For further information call Mary Spring at 505-341-7230.

We ask our church friends to share this video with your congregation!


Host an International Student this summer

In a time when many seem to be closing their doors to the outside SEED Host Familyworld, we here at Menaul School want to encourage our families and students to welcome and embrace those who are different from us. We believe that showing hospitality towards others helps to cultivate an open mind and compassionate heart. These in turn help foster a vibrant and caring community. Read more here.

Menaul School ranked one of the top schools in New Mexico

Niche ranked Menaul School as best Christian High School and 5th best Private School in New Mexico.

March 4, 2016 – ALBUQUERQUE – Menaul School was ranked best Christian High School and 5th best private school in New Mexico by Niche ( in their February release of 2016 Best Private Schools in America.

Niche is a website that helps people find schools around the country. Their rankings are based on analysis of different facts including SAT/ACT scores, student-teacher ratio, the quality of colleges students consider, and reviews from students and parents.

Niche_1stBestChristianHighSchoolNM Niche_5thBestPrivateHighSchoolNM


Boys’ Basketball Team Heads to State Tournament

The Menaul School Boys’ Basketball Team won the AA District 2 championship last Friday evening, 26 February, by defeating the Jemez Warriors 75 – 44 at Jemez!  Tenacious defense and poise against the press created numerous fast break opportunities and the first district championship in 5 years.

The win earned the 19-9 Panthers a #7 seed in the state tournament, and a first round game at home this Saturday, 5 March against the Hagerman Bobcats.

Tip-off for Saturday’s game is 6 p.m.  Come out and support your Panthers!

Get Ready for Global Week at Menaul School!

Global week is a time of the school year when we celebrate the rich cultural diversity of our community. In a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected across cultures and nations, we see a greater need to cultivate in our students cross-cultural awareness, appreciation, empathy, and communication skills that will better serve them in their lives. This celebration clearly supports our mission, to prepare students to succeed in Mind, Body, and Spirit.

Global Week 2016 Activity Schedule
Global Week 2016 MS Class Schedule
Global Week 2016 US Class Schedule

FIRST LEGO League and TRASH TREK Challenge to take place at Menaul School 1/30/16

New Mexico Region Students Apply Research and Robotics to Explore the Hidden World of Trash in the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) TRASH TREKSM Challenge

Albuquerque, NM January 30, 2016 – Creativity and science come together at this weekend’s FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) NMFLL Regional Championship at Menaul School, where 35 teams of 9-to14-year-old students demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community.

Read more here.