Sandia Preparatory School

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Sandia Preparatory School
Sandia Prep Quad.JPG
Constantius Possumus
With devotion, all things are possible
532 Osuna Rd NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87113
United States
Type Independent
Established 1966
School district NMAA 5-4A
Headmaster Bill Sinfield
Faculty 83[1]
Grades 6-12
Enrollment 580[1]
Average class size 15[1]
Student to teacher ratio 7:1[1]
Campus Suburban
Campus size 30 acres[1]
Color(s)      Cardinal Red
     Columbia Blue
Mascot Sundevil
Nickname "Prep"
Rival Hope Christian
Accreditation Independent Schools Association of the Southwest
Publication La Chispa (literary magazine)
Newspaper Sandia Prep Times
Yearbook Sandglass
Endowment $6.53 million (2014)[1]
Tuition $20,885 (2015-16)[1]

Sandia Preparatory School is a private, secular college preparatory school located in Albuquerque, New Mexico serving students from the sixth through twelfth grades. The school is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) and the New Mexico Department of Education, and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).


In 1958, Barbara Young Simms began to investigate the possibility of starting a girls day school in Albuquerque. In 1965, she secured land, established a board of trustees and formed the Sandia School, a nonsectarian school. In late January 1966, the Rev. Paul G. Saunders, an Episcopal priest, was selected headmaster and, later that year, the school opened. The year began with 75 students in grades 5 through 10 (grade 11 was added the next year; grade 12 the year after), and finished with 82 students.

In 1969, Orell Phillips served as interim headmaster while the school's board searched for a new head. In 1970, Mose Hale became third headmaster. Three years later, Sandia School became coeducational. In 1974, Elton Knutson was selected as fourth headmaster.

The school began to refer to itself as Sandia Preparatory School and expanded to a coeducational school during the 1974-75 academic year. Fifth-grade classes were discontinued in the 1985-86 school year. For the next academic year, Dick Heath joined Sandia Prep as its fifth headmaster.

Since its founding in 1966, Sandia Prep has grown from a girls' school serving 82 students in three buildings to a coeducational institution serving 670 students in multiple buildings and facilities that fill a 30-acre (120,000 m2) campus. The first graduating class in 1969 consisted of six girls; this year's graduates will number 100.

Sandia Prep is "descended" from the original Sandía School, a private day and boarding school for girls founded by Ruth Hanna McCormick (Barbara Young Simms' aunt by marriage) in 1932. Its first year, Sandía School held classes for five students and one teacher in a private house where Manzano Day School is now located. The school was formed in part to help prepare girls for further study or college in the Eastern United States.

In 1937, the school moved to a new permanent campus (now part of Kirtland Air Force Base). Mrs. Simms commissioned architect John Gaw Meem to design the school complex in the territorial style. By 1938, the school had 75 students, nine of whom were boarders, and 18 faculty. In 1942, due to World War II, Sandía School closed. A number of alumnae from the first Sandía School actively participated in the organization of the current Sandia Prep School.


Sandia Prep is an independent school, so thus its curriculum is independently created. The school does not offer AP and other standardized courses due to the justification of their courses already being accelerated.

The school has a rotational schedule of six days lettered "A"-"F." There are also eight periods, six or seven of which are featured in a school day. For instance, periods 1-7 are held on an "A" day. The eighth period is then carried out to a "B" as the first period, which then goes through period 5, due to an added activity day twice a rotation. Session 6 and 7 will then be carried out to the next day and so on.


Sandia Prep's philosophy is derived from the balance of the "5 'A's;" "academics", "arts", "athletics", "activities", and "atmosphere."


Saunders Library[edit]

The library contains over 17,000 volumes. The facilities in the library include a computer lab with 23 computers plus 20 drop-in computers to be used at any time by students. There is also one multi-purpose classroom.

Athletic facilities[edit]

Sandia Prep has two soccer fields, one baseball field, one softball field, a six lane track (recently resurfaced), and four tennis courts. The campus also includes the West Gym that seats 600 people in the bleachers and can be configured for four basketball courts or four volleyball courts. The second gym is the Field House, completed in 2008, and, in addition to the main gymnasium, includes a weight room, multipurpose room, locker rooms, offices, and spacious lobby area. In 2015, the track had been renewed, with new landscaping. The outdoor Heath Sports Complex was dedicated to the past head of school, Dick Heath.

Observatory and 1-9 classrooms[edit]

Sandia prep is the only high school in New Mexico that has its own observatory. The nine classrooms adjacent to it include some of the school's math and science rooms.

100 Building[edit]

Located in the Commons, it contains the science labs and 2 computer labs, 1 being the journalism room.

200 Building[edit]

Built in 2002, the 200 building contains the majority of all the classrooms with 20 classrooms.

300 Building[edit]

The 300 building has 2 math classrooms and 1 art room.

400 Building[edit]

The 400 building is the 28,000 sq. ft. Field House which holds an 850-seat gymnasium.

500 Building[edit]

The 500 building holds 6 classrooms, an art classroom, and the photo lab.


The school theater is a part of the performing arts center(700 building). It includes a full stage, seating, and offices as well as a box office.

700 building[edit]

The 700 building is the most recent building built in 2009. It contains seven classrooms, administration offices, band, choir, and drama rehearsal rooms.

Russell Student Center[edit]

Built in 2002, the Russell Student Center contains the school supply store, the boardroom, the college counseling office, cafeteria, and the west gym.


Sandia preparatory school has one track going around a soccer field and another soccer field without a track. One baseball and one softball field. They also have four tennis courts. They have a garden beside the soccer field without a track around it. In 2013 some students help put up a greenhouse. The school receives many of its vegetables from there.


New Mexico State Champions[edit]

  • Baseball: 2001, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016
  • Boys Soccer: 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Girls Soccer: 2002, 2004, 2006, 2011, 2012
  • Volleyball: 2004, 2015
  • Boys Team Tennis: 2009,2010
  • Boys Doubles Tennis: 2004,
  • Boys Singles Tennis: 2008, 2010, 2013
  • Girls Team Tennis: 2002, 2005, 2009
  • Girls Doubles Tennis: 2009
  • Girls Singles Tennis: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009
  • Girls Track and Field: 1998, 1999

New Mexico State Championship Runners-Up[edit]

  • Baseball: 2014
  • Boys Soccer: 1996, 2000, 2008, 2009
  • Girls Soccer: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Boys Basketball: 2010
  • Boys Doubles: Tennis 2010
  • Girls Team Tennis: 2008, 2013
  • Boys Track and Field: 2006, 2009
  • Girls Track and Field: 2000
  • Volleyball: 2003
  • Boys Swimming and Diving: 2007, 2008
  • Boys Lacrosse: 2016

State Competition History[edit]


Sandia Preparatory School Athletic Districts Year:
District 4-2A 1974 - 2006
District 5-3A 2006 - 2013
District 5-4A 2013–Present

District Championships[edit]

  • Baseball: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Boys Basketball: 1993, 1994, 2004, 2005
  • Girls Basketball: 1989
  • Girls Cross Country: 2002
  • Boys Golf: 2002, 2004, 2009
  • Boys Soccer: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013
  • Girls Soccer: 1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009
  • Softball: 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005
  • Boys Tennis: 2003, 2004,2007,2008, 2009,2010
  • Girls Tennis: 2001, 2002, 2004, 2009
  • Boys Track and Field: 1989, 1990, 2001, 2004
  • Girls Track and Field: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2009
  • Volleyball: 1987, 1988, 1989, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Key Facts". Sandia Preparatory School. Retrieved 15 Mar 2016. 
  2. ^ NMAA. "New Mexico Activities Association Web site". Retrieved 2007-11-20. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°09′00″N 106°37′05″W / 35.15000°N 106.61806°W / 35.15000; -106.61806