EYE ON EDUCATION: Freshman Return to Hood Jr. High 8/29/13
CBS 7 News
Odessa, TX - Hood Junior High ninth graders Hailey Simmons and Uziel Lujan are starting the year with their best foot forward.
A sense of confidence they did not have this time last year. Hailey, Uziel and nearly 200 of their freshman class were told the school was academically unacceptable and drastic changes, like rerouting the freshman to other area junior highs, were made.
“This is my home school,” she said.
“I was going to go to Bonham Jr. High if I didn't come here,” Uziel said, “I don’t know anyone over there.”
But a redesign of the junior high along with future plans to shift the district to a middle-school-concept changed the students' arrangements to leave.
“When the architects were not able to finish the high school we knew it was going to take two more years for that to happen,” the new Principal Wayne Squiers said, “We thought it was for the best interest of the kids to stay in their neighborhood school rather than sending them out to the other campuses for two more years.”
“I love the teachers I love the principals,” said Hailey, “They're really cool and nice I just love that about hood.”
“I had all my friends here since seventh grade the ones I hung out with and been with,” said Uziel.
Principal Wayne Squiers says this turnaround was hard work over the summer they hired over 20 new teachers, some brought in from different states, but to see their students return was all worth it.”
“The students can walk to school because they're right here in the neighborhood and they're very excited about staying,” he said.
While Mr. Squiers is optimistic on the school's goals, the students are confident about theirs.
"Just trying to get good grades this year because it's our last year," Uziel said, "I try to give it all in ninth grade."