Guam – While the Guam Education Board discusses the reassignment of attendance areas for the opening of a new central high school next fall, some parents and students at George Washington High School say they want to see improvements at their campus instead of having money go toward a new school.
At last nights Guam Education Board meeting Therese Terlaje said she was worried that problems at GW would continue to go unaddressed while money is moved to another place.
Terlaje has had children attending the campus for the past eight years and during that time the school has never had a functioning PA system. As a Parent Teacher Association member Terlaje says she’s heard more complaints from students about the condition of the campus than classroom sizes even though the campus has been labeled overcrowded.
“The flooding is serious,” Terlaje told board members while listing the issues the campus is plagued with. “I don’t care how many schools you open GW should not have to live with flooding and GW should not have to live with unpainted buildings, leaking, vandalism. All those things should be taken care of at GW.
Despite the condition of their campus, students told board members they are proud to be Geckos and don’t want to be moved to a new school. Upperclassmen Myrine Reynold and Dasmine Joseph told the board they want to graduate from GW rather than being transferred to a new campus their senior year.
“It’s not fair for Juniors who are graduating next year to transfer to another school,” Joseph told the board. “I’d rather have freshmen go there.”
Sophomore Danisia Danis also addressed the board saying its unfair that other high schools have been renovated when GW could use additional improvements.
“They should…renovate this school and make it better instead of us having to transfer to another school,” Danis said.
“They did that for other schools but when it comes to GW we’re on the bottom,” Reynolds added.
Superintendent Jon Fernandez advised the students and Terlaje to share those concerns with the Legislature and the Governor, as the Department of Education will be seeking funds to improve GW and other campuses.
GEB will hold a work session on the attendance areas this Friday. Committee Chair Mary Guiterrez has asked Superintendent Fernandez to present a “Plan A” and “Plan B,” one considering the opening of the new high school and the other without a new campus. Guiterrez invited Mayors from the affected villages to attend the work-session.
At last night’s meeting Fernandez said the anticipated population at GW next school year is 1,800. Currently 2,700 students attend school on the campus.