Gov. Susana Martinez is greeted by the entire student body at East Grand Plains Elementary School, Thursday morning during a brief visit to Roswell. (Mark Wilson Photo)
A group of Roswell kindergarten students took a break from their regular coursework Thursday to hear a story read by a special guest. Sitting on the classroom floor and encircled by young smiling faces, Gov.
Susana Martinez read to the class from a childrenâ€™s book during a visit to East Grand Plains Elementary School. The stateâ€™s chief executive said she decided to make the visit after the students sent a class picture, accompanied by a congratulatory letter, when she took office in November. â€œThey started following the election (and) they were very involved,â€ she said.
â€œItâ€™s exciting to be here.â€ Debbie Anaya, the classâ€™ teacher, said her students started following the election as part of a project. The activity quickly became one of the studentsâ€™ favorite, especially considering the class of 19 girls and two boys witnessed the stateâ€™s first female governor elected to office. â€œ(Sheâ€™s) a role model for the girls,â€ Anaya said.
â€œThey all want to be governor, now, or the president.â€ The news of the special guest was delivered just a few days ago and Anaya said her students immediately began cheering and clapping. â€œWe just expected (to receive) a picture with a signature or something,â€ she said.
â€œThey couldnâ€™t believe it, they were so excited.â€ The governorâ€™s visit comes at a time when Roswell Independent School District administrators are worried the current 60-day session will force the district to absorb further budget cuts to help fill the stateâ€™s deficit. Martinez repeated comments made during her State of the State address in which she said funds should be pulled from administrations, not the classrooms. â€œWeâ€™re not wanting to trim, at all, in the classroom,â€ said Martinez during Thursdayâ€™s visit.
â€œWhatâ€™s important is to make sure that the classroom stays the same and what weâ€™re dedicating to the classroom, from teachers and teachersâ€™ aides, so the kids continue to get a good education.â€