2011-08-24, Anthony Trujillo, Avance

President Ross Ramsey called the meeting to order and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Bill Wheeler gave the invocation. Jim Maxon decided that with all the problems going on, wars, floods, earthquakes, Aggie football, etc., we should sing something positive. When it's darkest, lets look/sing "On the Sunny Side of the Street."

After meeting and greeting each other and all the hilarity therewith, it took two bangs with the dinger to get us quiet and seated. The mystery greeter was Tom Bahr. (A few of us missed him-more dollars to the can). There were a few happy dollars. There should have been more, I saw many happy faces.


The Taste of Las Cruces account has been finalized and the checks to Casa De Peregrinos and Jardin De Los Niños will be presented on the Wednesday after Labor Day, September 7.

The Don't Meth With Me committee asked for volunteers to speak to fifth graders throughtout our school district. Dont be afraid, fifth graders are people too.

Don't forget the Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) fund raiser for the Rotary Foundation. Cash, checks, money orders, monthly payments accepted. It's only 27 cents a day.

Dress A Child dinner will be held on October 7.  Tickets will be available soon. For some of these needy children, this may be the first time they get NEW clothes.


Dave Lemen recieves blue sapphire 50 year pin from President Ross RamseyThe Blue Sapphire pin is the highest award presented by Rotary. Only three have been presented in our district. Today this award is presented to Dave Lemen, a 50 year Rotarian with a 33 consecutive years attendance. He comes from a long line of Rotarians, his grandfather was a charter member of the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Rotary which was chartered in 1915. Congratulations Dave.

The Program

Avance logoProgram chair Ana Mangino introduced our speaker, Anthony Truijillo. Anthony comes from Colorado. He has spent 55 years in education as a teacher, adminstrator, and 22 years as superintendent. In 1992 he became superintendent of the Ysleta Independent School District in El Paso. He moved Ysleta from the lowest performing urban school district to the highest performing urban district in Texas. "Help me welcome Anthony Truijillo."

New Mexico gave the world nuclear power, the technology for cell phones, and got us to the moon, yet New Mexico ranks at the bottom of the list in educating our youth, he told us. We developed atomic energy but we cannot graduate our students. The main document to start with is a high school diploma, yet 40% of our students don't make it.

Speaker Anthony Trujillo, AvancePoverty and welfare are excuses. We need tools, but the only tool we currently have is exclusion. You repeatedly tell a student that he can't learn and will never amount to anything. Soon he believes you and it gives him an excuse to drop out. He drops out, the theacher is happy, less work. NO, we need acceptance: "How can I help you? You need to learn so you can earn a diploma and become a productive citizen, via employment or higher education.  You can do it."

6500 students drop out each year. That means that the district is losing money, the per student payment to the district. One principal was overheard saying, "Why is the superintendent working so hard to getthese students back in school when we worked so hard to get them out?" Anthony charged on and was successful. You should not take the easy way out, do your job, encouage and educate.

Money is a great motivator,each student is worth $X to the district but when the student drops out the district loses $X. Bring them back, educate them. Si se puede.

Dropout Center is the answer. We set up a Dropout Recovery Center and for each dropout who comes back brings his $ allotment back to the district. This will fund the centers. Think of it as money earned. The center provides an incentive for the kid to stay in school. The end result is we have more students, better educated, with a high school diploma going out into the workforce or seeking higher education. Dropout Centers have produced great results-most with a 99% success.

Dropout Centers can work here. We developed atomic energy yet we are ignoring our kids. Why? We need to build for students, not for football championships. That's the only way we can raise our standing in the education scale. AVANCE.

Thank you Anthony Truijillo.

After the Program

The 50/50 was won

The can collected $26.00. After the can report President Ross reminded us that our club project is to help the Child Crisis Center and we can do better than that, so those of you who missed the party at Ana Mangino's drop a dollar in the can on your way out.

After reciting the Four Way test the meeting was adjourned.

Nerds words:  Man cannot live by beer alone.

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians

Guest  Host
Caryl Kotulak Dave Lemen

Visiting Rotarians

Rotarian Home Club


Rotarian Date Club
Earl Phillips 8/10 Rio Grande
Charles Townley 7/10 Alamogordo White Sands
Dave Lemen 8/10 Rio Grande

Submitted by George Miller