July 19, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Charmaine Jackson-John
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393


Santa Fe--New Mexico Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. Garcia today applauded a team of Roswell High School educators for being one of 30 high schools in the nation recognized as outstanding model schools at the 12th Annual Model Schools Conference in Washington, D.C. last month.

“For the past seven years, Roswell High School has worked tirelessly to transform their educational teaching programs and improve its graduation rates, despite being challenged with gang and violence problems. I commend principal Mike Kakuska and his dedicated team for implementing a visionary high school curriculum and modeling the best in New Mexico and American secondary education,” said Dr. García.

The team of educators, led by Kakuska included Brian Shea, Nancy Bowles and Melissa Jones Witt, made Three academic presentations showcasing educational practices. It rated against 300 of fellow high schools from throughout the nation.

Kakuska said, “We showcased our high school’s practices through several programs like conflict mediation, student leadership and peer tutoring. The hard work and dedication of not only our staff but students and community show that schools can take the challenges of the No Child Left Behind Act and not only succeed, but excel.”

RHS has an enrollment of nearly 1,400 students and is one of three high schools in the Roswell Independent Schools.

“Overall, 72.2% of all students have passed the New Mexico High School Competency Examination, an 8.8% improvement in three years,” added Kaksuka.

The conference, held on June 26-28, 2004 hosted more than 3000 educators worldwide. It was co-sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the International Center for Leadership in Education.