Loma Verde Elementary and Principal Rosemary Carreon: A Winning Combination
By Joe Olvera (c ), 2010
“The teachers here are excellent, they encourage the children to learn, and provide the atmosphere for learning;”
“Teachers are of the highest caliber. Students are always challenged to do their best. This school has been rated EXEMPLARY thanks to the teachers, parents, and administration working together as a team;”
“This school’s success is a result of the principal raising the bar on teacher expectations. Teachers are challenged to upgrade their computer skills to provide more information to parents. The school grounds seem to be well controlled, thus reducing the general parent safety concerns.”
With these accolades emanating from parents on the school’s website, is it any wonder that Loma Verde Elementary School has been rated EXEMPLARY in the Socorro Independent School District three years in a row? Principal Rosemary Carreon, who has guided the school for those three years of achievement, says the school’s success has been because of the parents’ involvement in making sure that their children receive an excellent education.
”We work with the students to strengthen them where they may be weak,” Carreon said. “The TAKS test, although it is controversial, does help us to measure how far a student has gone, and how much further he or she can go. We are getting them ready for global competition. It takes hard work, but, it can be done.”
TAKS is the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills – a standardized test used in Texas primary and secondary schools to assess students’ attainment of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies skills as required under Texas education standards. For years, the TAKS has come under fire because some consider that students are being taught to pass tests, instead of teaching them about the world at large.
“I have mixed feelings about the TAKS,” Carreon said. “But, we are required to measure a student’s attainment of all the skills that will be needed to compete on a global scale. It’s a Catch 22 in that kids get stressed because it is difficult, yet, how can we prepare them to compete at a college level? These kids, once they get to college, must compete with other students from other nations who are accustomed to dealing with these types of stress. Sure, it’s a lot of work, but, that’s why we’re here, to prepare them for the future. In the long run, it will pay off in that we can transition our children to higher levels of education, to higher levels of competing.
“Right now, some districts are having problems with drop-outs, but, why is this happening? Because we didn’t catch their weaknesses. They get frustrated, because they can’t compete. At Loma Verde, failure is non-negotiable. We even work with Special Education students, to get them ready for the outside world.”
Carreon, who earned her Master’s Degree from UTEP in Educational Administration, said that she works with parents as well, in making them responsible for their children’s success. Many of the activities at this Pre-K to 6th grade school are geared to bring the students together with the parents.
“Some of these parents are dealing with economic issues, so they don’t feel important, don’t feel that they are part of the school, but, they are very much a part of our success,” Carreon said. “We’re a community of learners. Everyone from the cafeteria workers. to the nurse, to the teachers, to myself, to the students and, of course, to the parents – we’re all responsible. We all must work together to achieve the highest level of education that we can offer our students.
“We even work with foster parents and foster kids. The foster parents’ better do a good job, or we’ll find out why. Too many parents want to coddle kids, but, that’s not everything they need. They also need to be made a part of their own success. Sometimes the parents don’t talk to their children, so we get them together here at the school. Most of our activities are held here at night, so that parents can attend with their kids. It’s all about educating the children,” Carreon said. “If we all work hard this coming year, we might even make EXEMPLARY four times in a row. That’s our goal.”