Oñate High Principal named New Mexico Principal of the Year


LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — Oñate High School Principal Jim Schapkahm was named the 2020 Principal of the Year for New Mexico, awarded by the National Association of Secondary School Principals this week.

Schapkahm has been with Las Cruces Public Schools since 2004. He began his career with the district as an athletic trainer, eventually becoming an assistant principal at Oñate High. He was later named principal of Oñate in 2015.

“Mr. Schapekahm always finds ways to meet the needs of his students and staff,” said Karen Trujillo, Superintendent for Las Cruces Public Schools in a press release. “He is the embodiment of servant leadership. It has been a challenging year, but Mr. Schapekahm has kept the Oñate community unified and that just shows that the Knight family is strong.”

LCPS says Schapkahm stepped up in a big way this spring when the school moved online for the Spring 2020 semester due to the pandemic. He dubbed this year’s graduating seniors as the “Historic Class of 2020.”

During the school’s closure, he regularly reached out to students, and the staff delivered yard signs to every 2020 graduate.

“It felt bittersweet,” said Natewa. “I still felt like I had more to do during my senior year. I made do with what I had, put on my cap and gown, and was happy to finally have that moment.”

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