April 2014 Column

   Public education should prepare its graduates to be successful citizens. The word successful has different meanings to each individual, but it is synonymous with fruitful, positive and effective. Upon graduation these young adults should be prepared to go to work, become housewives, join the military or enter into higher education.        
  During the Easter weekend my son returned home for a short visit to celebrate his grandmother’s 80th birthday. It was such a blessing to have both our children home, laughing, enjoying each other’s company and even participating in game night. Both our children received excellent educations. Wade attended NMJC for one year before transferring to Texas Tech, while Amanda headed to Tech straight out of high school.    
  Both were fortunate to have wonderful teachers, but the real responsibility is placed upon the kids.  They had to make the decisions to study rather than play video games or go out with friends. How is that responsibility taught to our students?  Whose responsibility is it to ensure they have their priorities in place to become successful? A partnership between the parents and the school has a greater impact than relying on one source for support.
   Hobbs Schools constantly reflects to see where we can improve. Hobbs High School students have tremendous opportunities available. Staff is constantly searching for ways to get a hook into their students to demonstrate the importance of education. Attendance is a factor for some students while others may need guidance in achieving a “3” on an Advanced Placement exam. I say all this because public education is the great melting pot of America. We learn to accept people who are different than we are. We walk the halls with students who come from varying socioeconomic backgrounds but a common goal of graduating from high school. People of different races and religions sit next to one another in class. This is the same environment these young people will be placed into when they enter the “real world. 
 This weekend was a time of reflection.  I loved raising my children. Their childhood times were the best times of my life.  Yet, it amazes me how proud I am of Wade and Amanda as they grow in their professional and personal lives. It unnerves me to observe the crises of the world and realize how delicate our existence can become. This time of the year we are reminded of the Columbine High School tragedy from 1999.  The Boston Marathon regrouped to continue a tradition disrupted by two brothers a year ago. My mind tends to focus on the celebration of Easter weekend. Spring is a time of renewal and growth. April Flowers may bring May flowers but May graduation brings the world a new set of successful citizens. 
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