More than 20 years ago, Coronadans first black student, Tami Bowers, became a leader of the school district.
She helped set up a special education program and is credited with saving the district from the ravages of desegregation.
But this year, Coronetas school district has no black student enrolled.
“It’s frustrating,” said Bowers.
“I’m so grateful to be a part of the Coronetans history.
I’ve learned so much about my community and what we stand for.
I’m a proud Coronetan and I’m proud of who I am.”
Coronetas superintendent Dr. Michael G. Poynter, who helped start the district’s special education effort, said the district has had a hard time finding students of color in the past.
“We’ve had a lot of great African American students that have been in the school system for a long time,” he said.
“But they’ve been limited to a small number of students.
So when you start down the path to graduation and have a high school graduate that’s African American, you have a problem.”
Coronado’s graduation rate of 87 percent was among the lowest of the county.
The district has more than 1,000 students.
“As long as you’re graduating high school in a state that’s majority-minority, it’s not going to be able to compete with schools of color,” said Poyner.
“We just can’t compete with the top schools.”
The district has worked hard to improve its graduation rate in recent years, focusing on recruiting students from families that have more resources to help them get there.
Pohner said that has made Coronetias graduation rate even better than the county average.
“There’s a very small percentage of students that are coming from families where we are not able to have a presence,” he explained.
“But, if you’re in the top 10 percent of the population, you’re going to have the same number of people that are going to come through the doors.”
Poyner said Coronetases graduation rate is the best of any district in the state.
“It’s one of the best in the nation,” he added.
“In terms of student retention, we have the highest retention rate in the country, which is remarkable, given the challenges we’ve been facing.”
“If you’re looking for a district that has high graduation rates and high retention rates, you should look at Coronetascounty.”
“Coroneta is one of those places where if you can’t get a student to a high level of graduation, you can make it through a high graduation rate and a high retention rate.”
He added that Coronetains graduation rate was also better than some of the other districts in the county, and that Coronas students were also more likely to be placed in special education.
Poynner said he thinks Coronetasis graduation rate can improve.
“Our graduation rate goes way up when you have the right leadership and a teacher who’s committed to it,” he stated.
“There’s no reason why a high rate cannot be achieved with those kind of resources.
We’re not there yet, but I can say it’s better than Coroneta.
Coronetascountry has about 600 students, about half of them black.
About two-thirds of Coronetays graduating class are from families of color.
Coronetakes graduation rate also was about one-fourth of the national average.
Coronatisto High School has about 150 students.
About three-quarters of Corontas graduating class is from families from color.
Puyallup County’s graduation rates are about one third of the nation average.
About two-fifths of Coronascountys graduating class comes from families with incomes between 80 and 120 percent of median.
Pueblo County’s high graduation averages are about two-third of the U.S. average.
More information about Coronetacounty can be found at https://www.coronetas.org/Coronetias_Education_Report_2014.pdf.