February 2018 KSSN Spotlight
For the month of February, we are shining a bright spotlight on Duane Bacchus, our community school coordinator at Godwin Heights High School.
Duane, who has been the coordinator at Godwin Heights for 2.5 years, centers his work on improving student attendance. He leads the school’s attendance team, using data to identify students at risk, and then develops a trusting relationship with the students and their parents, identifying barriers, and bringing in community partners and other supports needed to help the students succeed. According to Assistant Principal Michael Porco, "Duane has been proactive with students and families, making home visits and knocking down barriers that prevent students from coming to school." As a result of these targeted efforts, Godwin Heights’ satisfactory attendance has increased from around 90% to 94%.
When asked why he enjoys working at Godwin Heights High School, Duane says he loves the relationships he has built with the kids. He is energized by his daily interactions with them, listening to them talk about their interests, and learning what is going on in their lives. He also loves working with the Godwin Heights staff, and says they are extremely dedicated, have huge hearts, and truly care about their students.
In addition to helping with attendance, another of Duane’s greatest accomplishments is developing the “Godwin Barbershop.” By partnering with local barbers and other community members, he was able to obtain a room within the school and bring in professional barber chairs. Each Monday, Godwin students who have exhibited positive behavior are able to go to the barbershop and receive free haircuts! Duane says the barbershop environment is lively and inviting, and filled with discussions about music, sports, and current events. “The kids love it and it’s been a great source of pride for them!”
When Duane is not busy at Godwin Heights High School or supporting his students at their extracurricular events, you can find him engaged in his three main interests: music, photography, and family. Duane loves music, especially jazz, hip-hop, R & B, and gospel, plays the saxophone, and has sung a capella in high school and college. He is also an avid photographer and can be followed on Instagram at @d_bacchus. But most importantly of all, Duane says he is proud to be a husband and father of six-year-old triplets whom he loves spending time with.
We thank you, Duane, for the care that you put into your work with the Godwin Heights students. Your passion is evident, and we appreciate your positive energy and willingness to do whatever it takes to help the students succeed!
To receive updates on future KSSN Spotlights, like us on Facebook.