School Names: Belen

The town of Belen (now in Valencia County) is one of the oldest in New Mexico having been founded around 1740 by Spanish colonists.  It is far from being the actual oldest behind Acoma and Taos Pueblo from around 1000, Zuni from around 1450, Santa Fe from 1607 and Albuquerque from 1706.  Its original name was Nuestra Señora de Belén, which is translated Our Lady of Bethlehem and was originally founded under a Spanish land grant.

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School Names: Foothill

by Mike Magers

foothill

Foothill High School is unique among New Mexico schools in that all of its players are incarcerated juvenile offenders.  The school is managed jointly by the New Mexico Department of Education and the Children and the Youth and Families Department.  The student body is comprised of mostly males with some females.  It has a Parent Teacher Student Association made up of parents, teachers, guards and officials of the school.

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School names: Silver

by Mike Magers

Silver City is located in the center Grant County in the southwest part of the state.  It was founded in 1870 after the Civil War, but has been inhabited since long before that, including long periods by the Apache tribe and later by Spanish settlers.  Early Spanish and Anglo inhabitants were drawn by the prospect of mineral deposits and this was the main attraction for the area.  The prospect of wealth from mining also attracted criminal elements to the area, including William Bonney, more popularly known as Billy the Kid, among his other aliases.

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School names: Tucumcari

by Mike Magers

Tucumcari is the county seat of Quay County.  The landscape is dominated by Tucumcari Mountain, a natural feature on the east side of the town.  One might have assumed that the county name had an origin more related to the culture of the residents, but instead the county was named for a Pennsylvania senator by the name of Matthew Quay who supported statehood for New Mexico.  Because of the county’s odd layout, it borders seven other New Mexico counties in addition to Oldham County on the Texas border.

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School names: Monument

by Mike Magers

The community of Monument was the first settlement to take hold in what now is Lea County.  It got its start when former cowboy named James Cook built a store.  Not surprisingly, the community’s first name was Cook’s Store.  Cook used to drive a buggy to Carlsbad and back to deliver the mail until around 1900 when Cook applied for and received permission to establish a U. S. post office in the name of Monument.  The area was fairly arid, as it is today and the village of Monument got its name from an old water source named Monument Springs which was the headquarters of one of the larger ranches in the area, the Hat Ranch.

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