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Chinquapin to celebrate 50 years

Chinquapin Speakers at the Rotary Club luncheon were Laura Hipps, Development Director; junior student Kihana Wilson; and Laura Henry, Director.

HIGHLANDS – Laura Henry, Director of the Chinquapin Preparatory School, gave a talk to the Rotary Club on the history and current status of the private school, located on Wallisville Road in Highlands.

A site that was once a chicken farm has become an exemplary school for kids that are college bound. Founded in 1969 by Bob and Maxine Moore, Bob Moore was head of the English Department at St. John’s School in Houston. They saw the need to provide incentive for students who had have high potential, but limited opportunities. With a grant from the Brown Foundation, they started the school which has now grown to about 160 students, grades 6 through 12. Originally a boys school, in 1978 it became co-ed. Some students are bused from the city, and high school students live on campus five days a week.

Henry said that 83% of the students are economically disadvantaged, and 87% are Hispanic. The teacher/students ratio is 8 to 1. Each year the school accepts about 35 new students of the 200 who apply. 100% of the students must go on to a 4 year college, and 36% take post-graduate studies.

Rotary sponsors an Interact club with about 2/3 of the students participating as members.

Costs per student are about $16,000 yearly, Dr. Henry said, but most of that is paid for by contributors. The student is expected to pay only a small sum, often only $50 to $400 per month. The yearly budget for the school is about $2.4 million.

“Quid pro Quo” or “Something for Something” is Chinquapin Prep’s motto, and is lived daily as students give time and effort to the school in return for the opportunity to receive quality education, in a caring, family-oriented environment.

Dr. Henry reaffirms the Moore’s goals, that the purpose of the school is to produce responsible, educated citizens and leaders who can become positive role models in their community.