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|Students commute many miles to have their choice in education|
|Written by Nick Scala|
|Saturday, 16 April 2011 19:36|
"I was standing in the middle of a crowd before class, when a kid came up and stabbed someone. That's one reason I left Buena and went to Tombstone."
Kyle Goree, 17, was a sophomore in 2009 when the student was stabbed at Buena High School.
"I was constantly getting threatened," said Goree. "There were a lot of gangs over at Buena and they were constantly picking on people and always getting in fights."
Goree is one of many students who have left Buena to come to Tombstone. And about half of Tombstone High's students come from out-of-district.In 2009, his family moved from Sierra Vista to Huachuca City. Although Huachuca City is in Tombstone school district, Goree had the choice to stay at Buena because he was old enough to drive.
"All of my friends still went to Buena and part of me wanted to stay, but my mom wasn't going to let it happen."
She had her reasons.
"Well my personal opinion is there are too many students," said Goree's mother Judith Apodaca. "I have a lot of experiences with teachers not paying attention to students who need help. The teacher is just there and there is no interaction with the students."
Buena has a total enrollment of 2,200 students. Tombstone tallies around 350.
Buena's graduation rate was 87 percent in 2009, while Tombstone was 86 percent.
"At Buena, he was getting C's and D's," Apodaca said. "I haven't seen anything but A's and B's since the transfer."
"The teachers monitor our grades really good here," Goree said. "I was at a basketball game once, and a teacher saw me and pulled me aside to give me a paper back and tell me I'm doing good in her class."
Although Goree has experienced success at Tombstone, the 2010 AIMS reading and math combined test results have Buena ranked 72, while Tombstone lags behind at 188 out of 396 schools.
"This is something we are conscious of," said Tombstone High Principal Robert Devere. "We do AIMS prep and try to remind the students of what they've
Jordan Williams, 16, is a junior at Buena who lives in Huachuca City and went to middle school in the Tombstone district but opted to go to Buena instead of Tombstone High.
He was convinced that Buena was the right place for him after his cousin graduated from Tombstone in 2009.
"It's a very small school and sports is all they focus on," said Williams.
Williams has a 4.0 grade point average at Buena and said it's the diversity and option to take challenging courses that he likes.
"Right now I'm taking my third year of Spanish and AP classes," said Williams. "These are classes Tombstone doesn't offer."
Goree agreed that he felt that same way about Tombstone before he transferred.
"When I first left, I still loved Buena," Goree said. "And it was mostly because of the programs. They had more extracurricular classes."
But after being settled in at Tombstone High, Goree said there is only thing he misses about Buena: "The lunch was better at Buena. They had more choices."