Granger Students Excited About Trip to San Diego for Education Conference - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Granger Students Excited About Trip to San Diego for Education Conference

GRANGER, Wa -   Granger High School will be one of only 24 high schools in the country invited to attend a national conference on education in San Diego.  It's called 'Breaking Ranks' -- 2007 High School Showcase.

What's unique about this conference...  educators are interested in hearing what students from these high schools have to say.

The two students who will be going say they're excited about having the chance to make a difference in high schools all over the country.

"We're gonna go to the pool, go swimming," says Tasha Esparza, a junior at Granger High School.

Esparza and Maria Jimenez are already talking about their trip to San Diego, which is still two months away.

Maria is the student body president at Granger High School.  Tasha is the VP.

Educators from all over the country will be asking them for advice on how to improve their high schools.

"We're getting smarter and smarter," says Tasha, "People didn't think we could do it since we're almost 90-percent Hispanic and we have a lot of poverty.  Now, we're beating other schools."

Five years ago, Granger's graduation rate was less than 60-percent.  Now, it's 90-percent.

The crime rate for the city used to be one of the worst in the lower valley.  Now it's one of the best.

Educators are taking notice and Maria hopes to have an impact on high schools all over the country.

"I want to tell them about our advisory program," says Maria, "We have teachers that meet with students one on one."

The two girls will not go alone.  Tasha's father will also be making the trip.  Richard Esparza is the principal at Granger High School.  He says they take great pride in how they have turn things around.

"We believe to have success you need to have involvement from parents and students as well as teachers," he says.

Esparza hopes the message he and the girls can spread when the go to San Diego...  it can be done.