According to craftinlearning.com, Luna County, New Mexico has a long and varied history that is deeply intertwined with the rich cultural heritage of the region. The area was first inhabited by Native American tribes including the Mescalero Apache, Navajo, and Jicarilla Apache. In 1598 Spanish explorers arrived in what is now Luna County and began to establish settlements. By 1848, Mexico had ceded the territory to the United States as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This marked the beginning of U.S. settlement in Luna County with ranchers, miners and farmers moving into the area in search of opportunity. As mining and ranching grew in prominence, so did Luna County’s population which rose steadily throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century. The town of Deming was established in 1881 along with other small towns like Columbus, Animas, Palomas, Hatch and Garfield. These towns served as hubs for commerce and transportation between New Mexico and Arizona as well as providing essential services to local residents. During this period many churches were built including St Joseph’s Catholic Church which remains an important landmark today. In addition to churches, schools were also founded during this time providing educational opportunities for local children that still exist today. The Luna County School District is a public school district located in Luna County, New Mexico. The district serves the communities of Columbus, Deming, Hatch, and Palomas. The district has four elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. The elementary schools are Columbus Elementary School (CES), Deming Elementary School (DES), Palomas Elementary School (PES) and Hatch Elementary School (HES). The middle schools are Deming Middle School (DMS) and Hatch Middle School (HMS). The high school is Deming High School (DHS). The district is committed to providing students with a quality education that prepares them for success in college, career and life. In addition to traditional academic subjects such as math, science and language arts, the district offers a variety of extracurricular activities including athletics, fine arts programs and student organizations. Students have the opportunity to participate in band, choir and theater productions as well as competitive sports teams in football, basketball and baseball. Luna County is also home to several charter schools that provide alternative educational pathways for students. These include Las Cruces Public Schools’ Early College High School which provides college-level courses to qualified high school juniors and seniors; Southwest Learning Centers which offers various alternative educational programs; La Academia de Esperanza y Paz which offers bilingual education; and Animas Charter Schools which provides an individualized approach to learning with an emphasis on experiential learning opportunities. The Luna County Schools are committed to providing students with the best educational experience possible so that they can reach their full potential. Through its rigorous standards of excellence in academics, extracurricular activities and community involvement the district strives to create an environment where all students can succeed. Check thembaprograms.com to learn more about New Mexico geography.