Letter To The Editor In Support Of Morris Pongratz

Kristen and Morrie 2014 (1).jpg


It is my pleasure to write a letter of recommendation on behalf of Morris Pongratz for a position on the School Board of Los Alamos Public Schools. 

I knew Morrie as a Key Club mentor back in high school. He inspired, engaged, and worked with Los Alamos students including myself in many different ways. He has volunteered at the Foster Children’s Christmas Party in Española, helped at Relay for Life at Ashley Pond, and introduced students to good causes such as UNICEF, (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), which is an organization that was created to help children and mothers in underprivileged countries. In Key Club, we distributed orange UNICEF boxes throughout the community at checkout registers like Smith’s in order to help raise money for such a charitable cause. Morrie also encouraged students to volunteer at Aspen Elementary School and at the Kiwanis pancake breakfasts at the senior center, where he always made sure to take pictures of us Key Clubbers flipping pancakes for our annual scrapbook competition. Morrie also started a Key Club for elementary school kids in Los Alamos called, “K-Kids,” to help encourage giving back to the community at an even earlier age. It is never too early to give back to your community and this is something that Morrie knows. 

I graduated from Los Alamos High School in 2014, and since then I graduated college from Texas Tech University in May of 2018. I am currently working at a company in Dallas, Texas and even as a working adult, I still hold dear the importance of giving back to my community. I believe that is owed in part to Morrie, for being such a kind mentor in high school and always emphasizing the importance of caring for your community. Now, as I have learned post-college, working full-time and giving back to the community is not easy. Luckily, my company has volunteer opportunities year-round. This past Christmas I volunteered for the organization, A World for Children, and donated toys on a local child’s Christmas wish list. 

As a constant positive encourager for all students, Morrie has reached out to students who didn’t appear interested in volunteering and then impressed on them a desire to help others. He has written hundreds of letters of recommendation that helped many students get into college and even earn scholarships. Morrie has influenced so many Los Alamos students who have moved all over the country and because of his good influence in our public schools, he has taught us that no matter where you end up, giving back to your community will always be important. 

Morrie is truly a Los Alamos treasure. If selected, the School Board will gain a member of the community who not only cares about our public schools, but whose influence goes well beyond the county limits of Los Alamos. 


Kristen Haertling
Los Alamos Public School Alumna