Inside the Classroom: A Magnet Program with a Perfect Graduation Rate

LAS VEGAS -- Students in one of the Clark County School District's prestigious magnet programs are getting ready to graduate.

Inside the math and science magnet program at Clark High School, veteran teacher Phil Bombino teaches the only calculus III class in the district. The magnet program has a 100 percent graduation rate, so the demand for Bombino's classes has gone up, which means his classrooms have filled up, too.

"When you have a class of 42 like that morning class, it is hard to get around. The best I can do is break them up into groups, then I can get around to each group. But that's the best I can do. As far as individual attention in a class that size, it's just not going to happen," he said.

Bombino teaches juniors and seniors both in and out of the magnet program. He worries the other Clark High School teachers won't be able to give that attention to their students when class sizes increase even more next year.

But Bombino isn't just any math teacher, he was named the National Magnet School Teacher of the Year for the west coast last year. But he says titles aren't important to him.

"When they come back to me and say they were well-prepared for college calculus, that to me is the biggest award I can get," he said.

His students must be well-prepared because they're going to Harvard, Princeton, Northwestern, Berkeley, UCLA, USC and more next year to study math, medicine and engineering. So far, they've racked up $9 million in scholarships.

Sadly, after 31 years with CCSD, Bombino is going to retire this June to care for his ailing mother in Seattle. He said he'd gladly teach another four or five years though.


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