History of Our School
La Cueva opened its doors in the fall of 1986 with 1200 juniors, sophomores, and freshmen. From the beginning, Principal Allen Krumm and the staff of 70 committed to the motto “Where excellence is a habit.”
The total academic, activity, and athletic program are committed to meeting the needs of the community. From the beginning, all programs excelled and by the time the first graduating class left La Cueva in 1988, the school was already being recognized as one of the outstanding schools in New Mexico.
Since the doors opened in 1986, the Bears have excelled on the athletic fields. The school has won a total of fifty-nine state championships, 226 district championships, and has been selected as the NMAA All-Sports Trophy winner 11 times for boys and 8 times for girls and were awarded the first ever Directors Cup honoring the total athletic program for the 2004-05 academic year. The school's first state championship came in 1987 as the La Cueva Girls' Cross Country team won the NM AAAA State Championship. La Cueva has had 29 High School All-Americans, 12 Gatorade Athletes of the Year, 6 APS Athletes of the Year, and 5 Tribune Athletes of the Year. Former Bears include Olympians Lance Ringnald (88) and Nate DiPalma (93). Collegiate All-Americans include Amy Warner (01), Kristen Graczyk (02), Richie Hansen (95), Jennifer Hommert (95), Anna Tuttle (95), Doug Zembiec (91), Jeff Rowland (02). AJ Bramlett (Basketball) (05) played on the University of Arizona's national championship team and Nick Speegle (2000) was drafted and played football for the Cleveland Browns.
Academically the school has been recognized nationally by Redbook magazine as a “School of Excellence,” and produced a National Teacher of the Year. La Cueva has been chosen an “Exemplary School” for the past three years. La Cueva Academic Decathlon has won a number of state championships and been recognized for excellence with outstanding performances at the national level. The JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society) teams have been state champions every year since 1992. DECA: Association of Marketing Students program has had many students place in national marketing competitions. The Model United Nations program has won 8 state first places and finished 3rd in the National Model UN program.
La Cueva has had national winners in the National Counsel of Teachers of English (NCTE) writing awards for the past eight years. Chad Swayden (88) is one of La Cueva's published authors. Journalism and Yearbook students have achieved state and national recognition for their work on school publications. A number of La Cueva graduates are presently journalists writing for news publications throughout the country. The school has also produced over 150 National Merit Scholarship Finalists since 1986.
The Marine Corp JROTC has achieved national recognition in all aspects of its training programs and has produced a number of nationally ranked marksmen. The Air Rifle Team has been state champions for all eight years of its existence and has placed in the Top Five Air Rifle teams in the nation for the past 5 years. La Cueva's MJROTC has the highest academy placement ratio in the country.
The Art Department students have consistently produced the finest artwork in the city and state at the Metro Art Show and the Focus Excellence awards. The Music and Drama departments are locally and nationally recognized for excellence. The music department has produced outstanding musicians and national recording artists Crystal Yoakum (01), Tony Vincent Strascina (91), Jennifer Varnado (90) and Colin O'Malley (92), who writes and directs movie scores for Disney. The drama department has produced actors and actresses; Neil Patrick Harris (91), Freddie Prinze, Jr. (94), Kim Bigsby (96) and Teri Conn (93). Tony Strascina (91) is a Tony Award winning actor and Neil Harris (91) is a People's Choice Award winning actor.