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Encouraging Roswell’s future

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There were 47 high achieving dual-credit students of Roswell High School at Golden Corral restaurant on Feb. 14 being treated to a breakfast as reward for their achievements. In the background standing, center, Godswill Barrah, Roswell Independent School District director of secondary programs. (Christina Stock Photo)

Goddard and Roswell high school kids were treated to a special breakfast to celebrate their recent achievements.

Pictured are the Goddard High School dual-credit students with their Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell instructors at La Gran Victoria on Jan. 31. La Gran Victoria sponsored the breakfast honoring the students. (Submitted Photo)

James Edwards, Roswell Independent School District (RISD) board member, was present for Roswell High School students’ breakfast at Golden Corral on Feb. 14.

“I had a sponsor who paid for this breakfast,” he said. “I am representing the Army National Guard as well and Sgt. 1st Class Navarretti assisted me. “Godswill is the person who spearheaded everything,” Edwards said. Godswill Barrah is director of secondary programs at RISD.

The Goddard High School students had their breakfast Jan. 31 at the restaurant La Gran Victoria who sponsored them.

“In the African proverbs it says, ‘If you thank a king for what he did, he will do more.’ The idea is to find a way to authentically encourage the kids, the kids’ drive for academic achievement. It is a way to bring the community together to support kids to achieve academic excellence, so we can continue to push them to strive, that’s the idea,” Barrah said.

Indeed, the students of Roswell High and Goddard can be proud of their achievement. “These are kids in high school, taking college classes — they are dual-credit kids,” Barrah said. “They basically earned high school credit and college credit at the same time. These kids are kids that made A’s and B’s in their classes in the past fall semester. It’s a challenge to take high school classes and college classes at the same time for a high school kid.”

In an email, Barrah sent in details about the accomplished students. “During this academic year, we have significantly improved dual-credit programming for our students from comprehensive high schools,” he wrote. According to Barrah, this increased enrollment, retention and achievement in core academic courses, such as Language Arts, Communications, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Humanities.

Barrah wrote: 22 of 25 Goddard High School students were successful in college class, English 1110 — an 88% success rate; 44 of 47 Roswell High School students were successful in college class, English 1110 — a 94% success rate.

“It’s worth mentioning that GHS students took two college courses (ENGL 1110 and HIST 1110). These students, who are mostly juniors, earned six college credits last semester and will have earned 12 by the end of this school year. Altogether, just between Roswell High and Goddard High, we have 66 students — mostly juniors — who successfully completed their first semester of college English class,” Barrah wrote.

According to Barrah, this increased the dual-credit opportunities in CTE at Roswell High School.

“We had 26 students take an Automotive Brakes course at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell with (educator) Eric Gomez in a very rigorous program; 20 of 26 were successful — a 77% success rate. Thirty-two students from Roswell High School were enrolled in college, Welding 110 (Intro to Welding); 30 of the 32 were successful — a 94% success rate.

“This is just the beginning of what’s possible because I know for a fact that we have several more students who are capable. There are so many other students in dual enrollment in various courses,” Barrah wrote.

Originally from a village in Nigeria, Barrah wrote about the teachings that he learned from his elders. These teachings are the base on having a celebration breakfast for the high achievement students.

“We just wanted to thank, celebrate and encourage our students to continue striving for academic success. An African proverb says: ‘Honor a child today and the child will honor you tomorrow;’ because children are assets to the community, not a problem to solve.