Serving the High Plains

Ed Secretary salutes Logan accomplishments

LOGAN - New Mexico's Secretary of Education paid Logan Municipal Schools a congratulatory visit after the district pulled off a rare trifecta with Spotlight Schools designations in its elementary, middle and high schools.

After a three-hour tour of the schools Thursday morning, Education Secretary Arsenio Romero saluted the students, teachers, staff and parents during an assembly in the main gymnasium.

"I want to take a piece of that and replicate it across New Mexico," Romero said of Logan's feat, adding the Spotlight Schools designation "doesn't happen everywhere else."

Schools earn the Spotlight designation if their students score within the top 25% across the state in math, science and reading proficiency and improvement, plus regular attendance. Graduation rates also are part of the metric.

Logan's elementary, middle and high schools each earned the Spotlight Schools designation. Kelly Pearce, deputy communications director for the state Public Education Department, stated in an email that Cloudcroft and Melrose also saw their three schools earn the designation.

Romero, previously a superintendent at Los Lunas and Deming schools before being appointed as the state's schools chief about six months ago, said after the assembly he was "super-impressed" with Logan.

"One of the classrooms I went into, she has 100% proficient readers last year. That's unheard of in New Mexico," he said. "Logan is a shining star in education."

Romero also cited the fact Logan superintendent Dennis Roch has been with the district for 10 years.

"It's important to have that stability," he said.

During the assembly, Roch reiterated the importance of student attendance for their success. Even if a student misses just two days of school per month, he said, that adds up to 20 days per school year and dozens of hours of instruction time lost.

Roch also announced sixth through 12th-graders would receive an extended lunch period as a reward for the Spotlight School designation. He said elementary pupils would receive an extra recess, which was greeted by cheers from the children.

"If you do what you ought to doom there will be rewards, just like in real life," he said.

School board President Laurie Strebeck, one of three such members to attend the assembly, said Logan had "the best staff in the state of New Mexico" and led an applause of the parents and students.

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