Promesa offers diploma hope
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 10, 2004
PV district to aid speakers of Spanish
A program designed to reach 16- to 21-year-old Spanish-speaking students who
have never been in school is in the works for the Paradise Valley Unified School
Thursday night, the governing board voted to hire Dorelyn Kunkel as the
teacher/coordinator of the new program, called Promesa. The word is Spanish for
The program will have a full high school curriculum and will be based at North
Canyon High School, 1700 E. Union Hills Drive, Phoenix. The program's major
difference will be that all the English classes will be given upfront. After the
student reaches proficiency in English, the rest of the subjects
will be taught.
Students will have the opportunity to pursue a high school diploma or a general
"I don't know of any other program like it," Assistant Superintendent John
Superintendent John Kriekard called the program a service for a part of the
community that isn't being served through traditional education options.
"When a 16-year-old student comes in to register and has no credits, the high
school says there's no way you'll be able to graduate," Kriekard said.
That news can be discouraging, and the student is likely to drop out, he said.
"We need to develop another plan that serves this group of young people,"
Kunkel is working on recruiting students for the program who are not in school.
"It's our belief there's a lot of students out there that we're not reaching,"
This program will help address that need for about 25 students.
"I know there are a lot of young people who would welcome the opportunity to
become literate in English," Kriekard said.