More math and science teachers needed at schools

QCS Guest Columnist: Clay Beevers

In a recent issue of the Quay County Sun, an article came out about the school board’s concerns for the math and science departments in the Tucumcari public schools.

Perhaps it is true that students enrolled in Tucumcari public schools are not proficient in the area of math and science, but whose fault is that?

Last summer, between my junior and senior years at Tucumcari High School, I attended a summer engineering camp at New Mexico Tech. That may have been the best idea of my life. It showed me whether or not I wanted to be a chemical engineer, but also I learned which classes I would need to be ready for college.

The classes I needed were calculus and physics. So at senior registration I went in and asked the counselor what I could do to take these classes. At the time, the high school did not offer either of these classes but the counselor told me Mesalands Community College did offer the classes.

We worked around my schedule so that I was able to take calculus and physics. However, I was the only high school student enrolled in these classes even though they were available to other juniors and seniors.

What it really boils down to is whether or not a student is willing to take his or her future into their own hands. In fact, it does not matter if you attend the best high school or the worst, a student must be self motivated.

You can put a student in a chemistry class with the smartest chemist in the world but if that student is not there to learn, it does not matter how good the teacher is.

Even though THS does not offer second-year chemistry or physics, Mesalands does. So if a student is motivated and willing to learn then they will take the class at Mesalands, which saves THS money on teachers, helps Mesalands enrollment and earns that student both high school and college credits.

This only fixes the problem at the high school level. But there is an easy solution to the problem at all levels: Tucumcari’s public schools simply need to spend more money in the areas of math and science and hire more teachers in those areas.

Of course that would cost a large amount of money, but that money should not be hard to find. After all, Tucumcari public schools is able to pay the salary of two superintendents these days. One board member told the newspaper that paying two superintendents will not affect the budget and all five board members voted yes to pay two superintendents.

If $191,000 a year does not affect the budget, then a few more math and science courses should not either.

Clay Beevers is a 2006 Tucumcari High School graduate who now lives in Clovis. Contact him at: