At a Crane school board meeting Tuesday, sixth-grader Syara Flores was recognized for placing at various state science fairs.
Flores, a Gowan Achievement Program student at Rancho Viejo Elementary School, recently received second place in the astronomy and physical science category at the Southern Arizona Science and Engineering Fair in Tucson as well as third place in elementary physical science at the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix.
“Syara is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through dedication and hard work,” said Superintendent Bob Klee. “We are extremely proud of Syara and what she's been able to accomplish.”
Before being presented with a certificate of achievement, she explained her “Power Shower” project to the board and said that she tested whether or not varying temperatures affected the strength of a magnet, using water ranging from boiling to freezing.
In other meeting news, during Klee's superintendent report to the board, he shared that since the beginning of its energy conservation measures through Climatec back in June 2010, the district has seen almost a 50 percent savings in utility costs.
“These measures included upgrades of and retrofits of HVAC equipment ... lighting equipment installation and lighting controls, computer management software and vending machine power management, just to name a few. Since the inception of the program, which has been for about three years now, the district has been able to realize an average reduction of 46.38 percent in our utility consumption; basically we've cut our consumption in half. Obviously that is a major savings of resources we've been able to use for other programs to benefit our students.”
Klee added that the district began its six-month campaign with Harkins Theatres at Yuma Palms recently to show a 15-second advertisement for the district. He said the ads will be shown before every movie during the duration of the campaign to spread the word about schools in the district.
Lastly, the board renewed its revised agreement with The New Teacher Project Inc. to allow the district to receive services for recruitment, selection, training and certification of two new teachers to teach math at Crane middle schools.
Klee said that this particular nonprofit corporation has helped Crane in the past in hard-to-fill areas like math, science and special education and not only provides training but helps to monitor the progress of those teachers throughout the year.
Board member Mary Garcia noted that while the estimated cost of the service may seem high at $13,400, it will save the district dollars in travel expenses to recruit new teachers.
Sarah Womer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.