Guam – Governor Eddie Baza Calvo and Sen. Aline Yamashita visited Benavente Middle School Tuesday.
Principal Dexter Fullo led the tour telling teh Governor, “a lot of what our teachers do is about recognizing that half the battle is about getting students interested, and then providing good teaching. Everything we do has to be centered around students. Most of our teachers know that. They know that teaching is about more than an 8 (a.m.) to 5 (p.m.) job. They make students know that they care about them, otherwise, there’s no amount of good teaching that’s gonna turn into learning.”
The Governor said he was “impressed with what this school community has been able to do with so little.” He noted improvements the school community itself made, including a marked decrease in vandalism.
The Dededo campus was a prime target for vandals until the principal brought parents and teachers together to find a solution. The solution they found was a $4,000 investment into surveillance cameras, which the principal monitors himself in his office.
Another area of improvement is student test scores. Last year, Fullo challenged teachers to collaborate with each other and employ certain best practices.
“This year, the students of those teachers who accepted my challenge scored the highest reading and language scores ever in this school,” Fullo told the Governor.
The Governor and his Chief Education Advisor Vince Leon Guerrero will be exploring solution to a number of issues at the school:
1. The repair of the gymnasium, where a ceiling lamp post recently fell to the ground (no one was injured)
2. The chipped paint and broken louvers on almost every surface of the exterior
3. The condition of the cafeteria, which caught Sen. Yamashita’s attention immediately
4. The walkways from the main building to the posterior buildings, where there are no covers from the rain
5. The inadequate training and staffing to identify students with learning and behavioral disorders so their disabilities can be addressed
6. The non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
7. The dire need for collateral equipment, learning tools
8. The need for a bell system and fire alarm system
9. Expansion of the parent-funded security camera system.