The Roswell High School Boys Basketball squad were front and center at Tuesday’s school board meeting when the Coyotes were honored for their 2014 State Championship by the Roswell Independent School District’s Board of Education. (Randal Seyler Photo)
The Roswell Independent School District Board of Education members honored the Roswell High basketball team, who are the 2014 AAAA state champions.
The 29-1 team went 4-0 in their district and took top honors in the state, the third state championship Roswell High has garnered in six years, said coach Britt Cooper.
“We expected to win the championship in 2010, we had several of those same boys back that year, but the talent and determination of this bunch may have surpassed even that group,” Cooper said. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen a team run through the state like they did.”
Cooper said his Coyotes were a great bunch of young athletes who made both the school and the community look good.
“This has been a super year, and this is just a great bunch of kids,” Cooper said.
“We’re so very proud of you,” said Board President Pauline Ponce. “Three members of this board are Roswell High alumni, and we are all very proud of you and what you have accomplished.”
District staff members Gretchen Phillips and Dietta Hitchcock were also honored by the New Mexico Public Education Department with certificates of appreciation for Arts Education.
Both work at the Creative Arts Center, where Phillips is the arts integration facilitator and Hitchcock is a visual arts instructor.
Superintendent Tom Burris reported that the Standards Based Assessment testing was completed and turned in.
“Testing went very well, thanks to Mr. Sweet and his team for the hard work and long hours. We had no testing problems at all.”
Burris has been visiting schools and talking with staff, discussing the pay increase which is coming through the state Legislature.
“They are thrilled at the raise and excited that SBA is complete,” Burris said. The most consistent concern the superintendent has heard has been the lack of speed of the school internet. “The RFP that you approved in February will hopefully remedy that problem,” he said.
Burris also noted that the unit value was set by the state at $4,005.75. “Each kid is not a ‘unit,’” Burris said, but part of a complex formula the state uses.
The formula uses factors to differentiate the cost of serving students with different needs and other specifics of a school population.
“That is the highest we have ever seen,” Burris said of the unit value.
The formula starts with school membership, basically enrollment, then uses multipliers for the number of students at different grades to reflect grade-based class-size limits, the number of students receiving special education or bilingual education, the education and experience of the teachers, the size of the district and school, the number of students at risk for developing problems, and other factors, according to the website, nmlegis.gov.
Burris said what that means for Roswell Independent School District is the entire staff will receive a 3-percent raise and there will be an additional 3-percent for educational assistants.