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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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8/17/2012 12:01:00 AM
Brewer, Gosar on hand at school opening
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily CourierAspire Junior/Senior High School Principal Jim Taylor takes Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on a tour of the new school Thursday afternoon after its dedication ceremony in Prescott.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Aspire Junior/Senior High School Principal Jim Taylor takes Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on a tour of the new school Thursday afternoon after its dedication ceremony in Prescott.
Lisa Irish
The Daily Courier

As the Yavapai Accommodation School District held its grand opening for the Aspire Junior/Senior High School in Prescott, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer spoke about how the organization strives to prepare every student for a successful future.

"Yavapai Accommodation Schools make no excuses for their students, but rather are guided by the philosophy that every student can learn, and together they can make every student in Arizona ready," Brewer said.

"I can't think of a more fitting event than the dedication of Aspire Junior/Senior High School to mark a new school year, a new beginning of hope and opportunity for the students who will be educated within these walls," Brewer continued. "A good strong school cannot be built without a solid foundation built by dedicated, committed people.

"It takes a special kind of people to participate in accommodation schools. From the heart, they are dedicated, and they want success for their students. To have them all come together in a facility like this and see the results is just heartwarming and Yavapai (County) ought to be very proud of this facility. It is the model here for the state of Arizona."

Accommodation schools were originally designed "to serve students who had been expelled or on long-term suspensions from district or charter schools. Enrollment has expanded to serve students who may need flexible schedules, work to support a family, expectant mothers, (or those who) have young children, have medical and health conditions or have transportation difficulties," said Tim Carter, Yavapai County School Superintendent.

"We want all of our children to be successful, and some are met with bigger challenges," Brewer said after taking a tour of the new school. "Accommodation schools are the facilities that are the recipients of students being challenged in many different ways."

Carter said an owner of a restaurant he patronizes recently introduced him to an 18-year-old who works there 40 hours a week, is engaged, four months pregnant and has 17 1/2 school credits, and wants to graduate.

"She said she has aspirations to graduate and succeed, and that's where the name of this school comes from - aspire," Carter said.

U.S. Representative Paul Gosar, R-District 1, said he was happy to celebrate the district's success at a school that will provide students a place to take charge of their lives and become leaders - now and later.

"Education that meets our youth's needs and helps them excel is a cornerstone of our community, and this second campus of the Yavapai Accommodation School District under the leadership of Principal Jim Taylor will do just that," Gosar said. "It is for programs like this that I have and will continue to support legislation that moves centralized power from the U.S. Department of Education back to the states and local communities where it belongs. One size does not fit all when it comes to government and certainly not to education."

Aspire is the second school in the Yavapai Accommodation School District, which has been around for 10 years and has graduated over 200 students.

Currently, the district serves 142 students countywide, said Jim Taylor, principal of Aspire and director of instructional services for the district.

The first school, Yavapai County High School, continues to serve students at its Prescott Valley location and has a waiting list for services, Taylor said.

More than 90 students currently attend Aspire's morning and evening classes. The school expects more students and plans to offer evening classes as the demand for them grows, Taylor said.

Schools like Aspire provide education as well as a multitude of services to help students become successful, productive citizens, Brewer said after visiting with teachers in their classrooms.

"They're very, very important," Brewer said. "We don't want anyone slipping or falling through the slats."

Nathan Gianettino, a sophomore at Aspire, said the program lets him work at his own pace and progress as fast as he can.

"My brother and sister graduated from the accommodation school," said Ted Simpson, a sophomore at Aspire. "I went to other schools and they weren't right for me. The school here is strict, and I like that. The teachers care about us; we work hard and make good progress."

Kelsey Prevatt, a senior as Aspire, said she gets one-on-one time with teachers that she never did at other schools.

"I have two people in one of my classes and just 6 in another," Prevatt said. "I spoke to some graduates who said they were able to make up 12 credits in one year here."

Kolanna Scranton, a senior, said she likes being able to do some coursework online and then go to class to get help from teachers.

Many graduates of accommodation schools move on to college, trade school, and careers after learning to believe in themselves again and seeing a good future ahead, Carter said.

"We help many graduates of these schools and work with area high schools on many programs and with the Joint Technical Education District," said Greg Gillespie, vice president of instruction and student services at Yavapai College.

Also during the event, members of the Mingus Mountain Veterans of Foreign Wars Post # 227 and the Ladies Auxiliary presented Carter with an Arizona state flag, Gosar presented Carter and Taylor with an American flag that flew over the Capitol, and the multipurpose room was named for longtime teacher Judy Giffin, who now coordinates volunteers at Yavapai Regional Medical Center.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2012
Article comment by: Get the Real Truth!

@Jill Bean-seems OBAMA is the one who isn't following the law. If OBAMA was a white man we would have some immigration control just like he promised in his campaign speech!!!!!! Our taxes shouldn't be supporting illegals!!!!! Too much of the state's money is going to illegals and not to the citizens! Brewer is trying to help our state and OBAMA is turning his back on it. How many times has he spent on our borders? Case closed!

Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2012
Article comment by: @ Jill Bean who lives on Darling Mountain ~ Jan Brewer is a great governor...

...and would make a great Secretary of State.

Jan Brewer has stood her ground on many issues and deserves the Medal-Of-Freedom for standing firm on this foolish executive order giving temporary amnesty to millions of America's seditious enemies.

Persons in the USA illegally need to be arrested and deported whenever and wherever they are detected, be it in a hospital, school, or government office. There is no good to have any different view other than America first, Mexico and everyone else second.

Our patriotic predecessors bled and many died protecting our borders. Our country was built on patriotism and God. The people who earned this country, gave their blood, risked their lives, and gave it to their children -us- now deserve better than the current population of the land giving it right back to another society in the name of nothing except we are too lazy, too weak, too addicted, and too mentally ill to preserve what we were given or live up to the ideals of our better forefathers.

Not only the illegals invading the USA should be ashamed about what they are doing to a land that offered them nothing but hope, but traitorous Americans allowing, even encouraging, it to happen should cry out in contrition seeking forgiveness for what they have allowed to happen.

Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2012
Article comment by: DARLING MOUNTAIN

Jan Brewer in Prescott? Hmmm now she brings her shameful political presence to contaminate our area. Ugg.

Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Article comment by: People worry

about the feds funding the schools I say maybe we should do like Europe and some of the states form their own country Husama is without a doubt a Communist who only has one goal that is to destroy America

Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Article comment by: It was a miracle when Gov. Brewer and carpetbagger Gosar turned up -

- at a school ... you know an educational venue ... that lightening didn't strike them both! What hypocrites.

Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Article comment by: jill bean


Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Jo Butterman

Congrats to Aspire School, and Mr. Jim Taylor. I sure wish they has schools like this when I was in school. Good Luck Mr. Jim Taylor with the new school. :)

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Timing Is Everything! _ _

... Lori Klein and Karen Fann weren’t in there when all of the major cuts took place. If you vote, I would recommend pulling a REP ballot in the primary and voting for Lori Klein and Karen Fann for the LD1 House seats. It appears to me that Andy hates funding education.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Seems Odd

Seems odd to see two of the people most responsible for destroying education in Arizona in an education setpiece. They should be ashamed about what they are doing to this state just to court a cheap subgroup of retiree voters who are too shortsighted to see that not funding education destroys the very foundation of this state. For shame!

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Reverse Your Thoughts!

@Robert Ford-seems Obama is the one who doesn't follow the law nor support Arizona on immigration and drug dealers. He has never spent one day on our borders ... He has NO clue what the citizens in the Southwest live with each day. He has turned his back on Arizona because it doesn't represent the Democrats and that's the bottom line! Jan Brewer is trying her best to help our state not hurt it. Obama forgets he represents ALL states and ALL nationalities. If he's not going to do the best for this country, he needs to step aside and let someone who will take over. Time for a change.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: The Rev

Respect for the office? Guess neither the Blues or Reds practice it. Perhaps America is unified after all.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Robert Ford

what is Arizona going to do when all FEDERAL FUNDING stops. Because Jan Brewer will not follow the law.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Gerald Insley

The "Accomodation Schools", from what I read, serve a worthwhile purpose. As a former public school teacher and college professor, I support the concept of taxing for such programs now, rather than additional funding for dropouts who wind up in prison or merely transients. I attended Prescott schools, taught there for ten years and, even back then, a positive alternative would have assisted quite a few youngsters.. One student's comment that "they are strict" is noteworthy. Most successful charter schools find that to be a positive modus operandi. Jerry Insley -Ashland OR.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Robin Stockmar

Sounds like a nice school. Prescott High School offers a simular type program called Genesis Prep Online. Here is the website:https://sites.google.com/site/phsgenesisprogram/

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Bill Halstead

I wish to commend the three commentators, in the neighborhood, wash her mouth out, Donald Keys, and any others, for their insightful and uplifting comments about the usefulness of the accommodation school. Giving these kids the opportunity to finish their education, find better employment, and become a more productive member of their community, is diffenately is against the public interest. The fact they make the effort to continue their education in the face of adversity shows a major character flaw,which must be squashed at all costs. I sure you would much rather exhibit your largess by taking them under your wing and providing them with the basics, financial, and emotional, that would give them the foothold needed to be competitive in todays society. I'm also positive that the Gov. had devious and subversive alterior motives attached to her visit and comments at the school. As I remove my tongue from cheek, I wish all those involved in this endeavor the very best, and I appreciate the foresight shown by these boys and girls by completing their education.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Sheesh Deluxe

If she cares about the future of our kids, she would fund their education, not slash funding nearly to death. Her time in office has been education's worst nightmare.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Mom of Graduate

Congratulations to Aspire!!! Accommodation schools are a wonderful thing!! My son is living proof. We are an intact family with 3 children. My middle son struggled in conventional schools, until we found Yavapai County High School. We gave it a try and not only did he graduate, he graduated early. He is now a full time student at NAU. These schools serve a purpose, they give kids a chance to succeed, where as they may not have that opportunity. Not all kids thrive in conventional education. If we don't meet their needs what will become of them? Should we let them become welfare recipients? I don't think so. All of our children deserve a chance. These kids are there because they want to be, not because they have to be. As for the smoking......it's not just the accommodation schools. Go stand outside the perimeter of Bradshaw Mountain some day!!!!

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Steele

Bad mouth Governor Brewer or Gosar but not the school. I have known such schools in three states of similar service. There are a lot of kids falling through the cracks that are through the fault of themselves and many other issues need this format.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: An opportunity not to be missed.

Brewer and Gosar should turn a shallow, transparent political photo-op, dog-and-pony-show into something meaningful. Sit down in one of the school seats, attend a class, listen to the teacher, and educate themselves. A weakness in both repeatedly made clear to all of us.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Donald Key

When they graduate do they all go get accommodation jobs? These types of schools cost the taxpayer too much money and in a lot of ways are a disservice to our youth

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Wash Her Mouth Out

There was a nasty foul odor in Arizona yesterday. Then I heard the governor opened her mouth about the Dreamers. The only purpose that I can see is to unnecessarily intimidate a class of young people who would come forward for deferred emigration action, and to perpetuate the fear, racism and lies she exploited to win her office. I would not let her near the kids, just in case her evil malignancy is contagious. Otherwise, nice school.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: In the neighborhood

Work at a business in the development across the street from this new school. Already have a problem with kids hanging out to smoke. Was hoping for a closed campus!

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