Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
She’s at every home game, sitting nervously with family and friends. The nervousness is an excitement in the pit of her stomach because she is the No. 1 fan of Goddard running back Javyn Morales.
Morales is a special kind of runner, with a graceful stride that makes it look like he is gliding downfield with the ball in his hands. Morales has the gift to make it look like he’s not running while putting distance from would-be tacklers on defense.
It was evident as he took a handoff from Goddard quarterback Adrian Vega and ran to the left, and suddenly, a small crease opened for a second. Morales, without turning his shoulders, hit the seam of the tight hole and cut it back across the field for a 23-yard touchdown.
All of it in less than six seconds coming off the clock. That touchdown brought the Rockets to within eight points of tying Rio Rancho on April 3.
Morales’ run announced to the Rocket faithful that if he can stay healthy next year, they will have a running back with speed to score from anywhere on the field.
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His biggest fan just happens to be his mother and Roswell Independent School District school board president Hope Morales. She knows a lot about fighting and overcoming odds in life.
Hope Morales was raised in a caring and loving family. Her parents taught her to love God, work hard and family was everything. Setbacks are opportunities to try again, not to give up.
Hope Morales would need that determination to be the first member of her family to attend college and graduate. There were many obstacles that tried to thwart her from achieving her goals of getting an education. With a laser focus, she continued until she became the first person in her family to graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degree, and became a teacher.
When she left the classroom as a teacher, Hope Morales knew she’d run for the school board.
“I often get to share teachable moments with my children,” Hope Morales said. “I want my children to understand that they cannot simply wait for change or expect that others will make things better for them.”
Not a person to wait for something to happen, Hope Morales is proactive in making things happen and said she believes that if it is to be, it is up to me. She teaches her three children to dream dreams and to work hard toward achieving them.
“My children need to be willing to roll up their sleeves and take action,” Hope Morales said. “I have worked hard to teach my children that their efforts, actions and words matter. As individuals, we all contribute and give to our community, whether it is in a positive or negative manner. I know my children are watching me and I want to make them proud and demonstrate that one person can make a difference.”
Hope Morales said she wanted to run for the school board while she was still a classroom teacher. She often attended school board meetings and learned how important these leadership positions were. Hope Morales wanted the opportunity to help lead the district in a way that was focused on students and teachers.
“When I officially left the classroom,” Hope Morales said, “I had no doubt I would run for office.”
While making the decision to run for school board, Hope Morales knew she would have to face her college professor, Dr. Kathleen Pittman.
Both women shared a passion for education. Hope Morales said Pittman taught her how to be an exemplary teacher and about the importance of quality leaders.
“I didn’t run because of anything my opponent (Pittman) did or did not do,” Hope Morales said. “I ran because I thought I had something to contribute and was at a point in my life where I could commit to the expectations I would place on myself as a board member.”
Morales said each board member brings valuable traits that allow them to work well together. Morales brings a unique background because she recently left the classroom. She was a third grade teacher at Military Heights five years ago. Currently, she works with champion teachers across the state on a regular basis in her professional role as executive director for Teach Plus New Mexico.
Morales has three school-aged children. These perspectives help give her an understanding from a variety of viewpoints. If you watch the board meetings, you will see her put those perspectives to use during her questioning and discussions. Although she has different experiences, her focus is always on the children.
“I am very passionate about education,” Hope Morales said. “I was the first in my family to graduate from college with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. I hope to bring the belief that all children can achieve at high standards and support a plan of action to get us there. I have high expectations for our students and our staff, and also believe they need to be supported to meet the rigorous expectations. I don’t want to discuss the excuses for our challenges and shortcomings. I want us to focus on the possibilities and actions we need to take to get us to excellence. I want my energy, involvement and votes to reflect this.”
Hope Morales’ efforts to make life better for her three children have made her a role model to the Hispanic community. Showing it is important for young Hispanic females to see what’s possible, and what one can achieve in life.
“I am proud to be a Hispanic female serving as the RISD board president,” Hope Morales said. “I want our children to see someone who looks like them in leadership positions fighting for them, believing in them and celebrating them. I am an example of how quality education can change lives. I have had the opportunity to meet many students across the district while serving on the board and I am excited by the talented young leaders that are in our schools. They are already making a difference.”
Hope Morales said she prays each day, that she is the best person that she can be in all the hats she wears, while wanting to make a difference and be a role model that others can look up to because of her work ethic.
“I’ve failed many times in my life,” Hope Morales said. “I am proud of those failures because they have taught me valuable lessons. I take each opportunity as a fresh start and win or lose, you will see me give my all. Because even when I fail, I don’t give up. I hope others seek out opportunities without fear of failing because beyond that fear is a great chance for success or learning.”
Hope Morales said I would like the Roswell community to understand that “We are RISD. Our struggles are ours. Our successes are ours. We each contribute in a different way and together we can ensure RISD is a district where children thrive.”
Is there any wonder that after every game, win or lose, Javyn Morales is seen hugging his mom? Both know they have many more miles to run before they can rest.
Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or firstname.lastname@example.org.