Letter from the Board of Trustees

Dear Students and Parents,


We on the Board are very happy that all of you have a deep interest in the Academy.  Let us tell you who we are, what we do, and what we wish for you.

The school is a legally constituted business, a non-profit corporation, and a corporation needs a board to be responsible for its operation.  Our primary duty is reviewing the performance of the Head of School as the board’s only employee (Dr. Lou Ellen Kay, our founder, and at a perfunctory salary of $1/year, in reality a dedicated full-time volunteer); the school’s teachers are her employees, in turn.  We provide guidance to her for keeping our students’ progress at its best, as well as providing oversight and planning of the school’s finances and legal status (licensing, reporting to agencies, etc.).  We work to ensure that the LCA adheres to all the rules of IRS, protecting its status as a public charity under section 501(c)(3); that status helps us to get donations and to save money on taxes.  Several of us take on additional duties for the school – bookkeeping, purchasing, publicity, and teaching.

We, the Board, are currently 5 people who serve without pay.  Dr. Vincent P. Gutschick is Chair of the Board; the other members are: David Gutschick, Lou Ellen and Vince’s son and an indefatigable helper with business planning and IT; Dr. Paul Deason, who runs his own business for security and analysis; Susana Salamanca-Riba, retired Prof. of Mathematical Sciences at NMSU and a volunteer math teacher with us; Pritish Chamania, financial manager at IBM Toronto; and Champa Sengupta-Gopalan, retired Prof. of Plant and Environmental Sciences at NMSU. We give our deepest appreciation to the late Col. Harry Hellmuth, Ret., also retired from public school teaching and from private business. Harry served on our Board until his death in 2018.

We’ve all been deeply involved in education, as students earning degrees, as teachers at levels from elementary school to university, and as administrators of many different functions of the school.  Knowing the challenges for students first-hand, we are passionate about having the school be the best in its choice and support of teachers, its curriculum, and its care for the social and emotional development of you, our students.  Over the years, we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work; we’ve  selected what works, and we keep working to improve it.  If you’ve been in schools outside the LCA, you know we are very, very different from all other schools in the area.  We’re so happy that our students are learning Chinese and Spanish…and Singapore math, and far-ranging science, social studies, English and more.

The LCA is unique in more ways.  Our teachers come to us and are selected by us for their abilities and their passion for teaching, rather than by simple certification or seniority.   The LCA is unique in how extensively and willingly our families participate in the many activities, raising money to keep improving the school, running clubs after school, taking students on field trips, planning and carrying out fundraisers, cleaning the school, and much more.  Most importantly, our LCA parents work with their children to see them succeed.  The sense of community among students, parents, teachers, and board extends beyond our walls to many friends of the LCA in other institutions and in private lives; these friends help us with financial support and with outreach to the Las Cruces community.

We thank our teachers, we thank you, our students and parents, we thank our donors and volunteers.  We look forward to the progress of our students and the community, past, present, and future.


Vince, David, Paul, Sue, Pritish, and Champa