Texico schools gather to celebrate success

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Texico kindergartners Angel Salas, left, and Aviana Hall applaud for their fellow students Friday during the schoolwide Assembly of Success in the Educational Complex.

Liliana Castillo

The entire Texico school population and community members took part in a 12-year school tradition Thursday morning.

Once each semester, Texico schools gathers together to celebrate the successes of the semester. It’s called Assembly of Champions or Assembly of Success.

One after another, teachers and coaches took to the stage to talk about their students and what they achieved that semester. As each student or group of students stood up in recognition, about 700 students, staff and community members applauded them.

“It’s a really awesome thing,” Senior Delanie Crist said. “I think it’s great that we have so much success that we have one every season.”

Crist, 17, and her fellow varsity basketball teammates were recognized for being state runner-ups in state Class 2A. The seniors on the team presented the trophy to school board Vice President Tim Foote.

During Thursday’s assembly, seniors were recognized for the highest science scores in the state on the New Mexico Standards-Based Assessments last year.

Students of the month, county spelling bee finalist Whitney Skabelund, free-throw contest winner Jasmine Gannon, state Future Farmers of America competition participants, national Family, Career and Community Leaders of America competition participants and both girls and boys basketball teams were recognized.

While on stage, Crist encouraged basketball players as young as kindergarten to work hard for success.

“We’re being an example for the younger kids,” she said. “We’re such a small school that we can get together in one room and encourage each other. It’s a pretty unique experience.”

Superintendent R.L. Richards said that achievement is looked at more in high school than elementary but recognizing where success starts is also important.

“It starts in elementary,” he said. “We have a great staff and great kids and when you put them together, great things are going to happen.”

Richards said the entire school gathers about six times a year.

“Those are some of my proudest moments,” he said.

Richards said because the school is close knit, the younger children are always looking up to the older ones.

“Little eyes are watching,” he said.

English and business teacher Karen Kibbe said what impresses her most about Texico is that the staff recognizes success at all levels and in all areas.

“Students at Texico start out learning that hard work is what makes you successful,” she said.

Kibbe said she hears younger students talking about getting a state ring or playing basketball at The Pit.

“The students see that success and want to follow in their footsteps,” Kibbe said.

Kibbe, who has been a teacher for 32 years, said Texico Schools success is connected to the amount of support the faculty and staff receive.

“This is a community effort. We get so much support from the community, the board, the administration,” she said. “Everyone is a piece of the puzzle and that’s what makes it a success.”