We have a special privilege to honor Benny Shendo Sr. In 1953, Benny, from Jemez Pueblo, starred in track for Bernalillo High School. That year, in a time when there were no classifications, and all schools competed with each other, Benny won the state final in the mile with a time of 4.44. Benny was the first state champion for Bernalillo High School, and also the state champion in this event for all schools regardless of size.
Later that spring, he lost his grandfather who raised him, Benny needed to leave school to help support the family and the farm. He was subsequently drafted into the military during the Korean war and was never able to return to BHS to finish his diploma.
On behalf of the Board of Education of the THE DISTRICT of Bernalillo Public Schools, we proudly recognize Benny Shendo Sr. as the first state champion in our history, and we also honor him posthumously with an honorary diploma.