Steady Success At Charter School

Posted: May 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm


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When Estefany Gonzalez was a freshman and failing at Rio Grande High School, she remembers her mothers tears when administrators told the parent that all Estefany did at school was perform poorly or ditch class.

Gonzalez had started her freshman year at South Valley Academy charter school, but then convinced her parents to let her go to Rio Grande, so she wouldnt be separated from her friends.

After her inauspicious start at Rio Grande, however, it wasnt long before Gonzalez was back at South Valley Academy, a highly successful charter school that has just been named third best high school in the state by the magazine U.S. News and World Report.

Gonzalez recalls that before she was allowed to go back to South Valley Academy, she had to write a letter to staff and teachers, stating why she wanted to go back.

I made a lot of bad decisions when I started my freshman year, Gonzalez said. I had disappointed my parents and that hurt me a lot, so I decided I would work hard to make them proud of me again.

South Valley Academy welcomed her back, and shes since made the most of her opportunity.

By her junior year, Gonzalez had come out of her shell, was getting good grades and had become a student leader. She became heavily involved with school and community projects through the schools Community Service Learning Program.

A graduating senior, Gonzalez this year received a scholarship from the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce to attend the University of New Mexico, where she intends on studying psychology and pre-med in the hopes of becoming a psychiatrist.

Success stories like Gonzalez are becoming the norm at South Valley Academy since it opened its doors 12 years ago on a cottonwood-spotted campus on Blake SW off Coors.

Founded by Alan Marks and Katarina Sandoval, who is principal of the school, the school has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments and awards, including its recent state third-place standing in the fourth edition of Best High Schools, produced by U.S. News and World Report.

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Steady Success At Charter School

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May 19th, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Posted in Personal Success