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School district tops 20,000 students

Staff Writer

(This story originally appeared in the Hesperia Star Tuesday, February 7, 2006)

Hesperia's public schools passed a major milestone in January, when the Hesperia Unified School District swelled to educating 20,000 students at one time.

Although most of Hesperia's explosive growth in recent years has come from the cities and towns below the High Desert, the 20,000th student registered in the district for the 2005-2006 school year was a fourth grader from Adelanto.

Carmel Elementary School student Christopher Sassenberger was honored at Monday's school board meeting.

When the school district unified in the 1987-1988 school year, it was educating 9,667 students.

"Our 20,000th student happens to come to us at the beginning of our 20th year as a unified school district," said Superintendent Richard Bray. "It is exciting to see how far we have come, both as a community and a school district. Achieving these milestones is just the beginning - I can't wait to see what the future will bring."

"Just the time I've been in office, right? We've grown by 5,000 students. That's a quarter of our students" since 2001, said school board president Eric Swanson. "That's quite remarkable.

"What the 20,000 students shows to us, I believe -- is more kids are coming. We've got to have space for them. ... It's got to really keep you on task and provide the seats for them."

The next school board meeting will be held on March 6 at 6 p.m. in Sultan Hall at Sultana High School.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at beau@hesperiastar.com or by telephone at 956-7108.

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