Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
When I was going to elementary and middle school I never thought about going to college. When I was in high school I worked in the evenings in produce at a large supermarket. The general expectation for me was to graduate from high school, take over the produce department, marry my high school girlfriend and live happily ever after.
My grandparents, who were serving in the role as my parents, did not have the financial resources to send me to college nor did they have any idea how to prepare a high school student for attending college. When I was growing up students didn’t talk much about college until midway through high school. My life has truly taken a different path because of a teacher who saw some potential inside me that I never knew existed.
Times have changed. As I walk the halls of our elementary schools, it is not unusual to see colleges highlighted in a classroom. Students and their parents are thinking about the importance of postsecondary education and begin planning for this event early in a child’s life.
The staff in Perry Township understand the need to prepare our young students for college or vocational opportunities at an early age. Students take classes for college credit at our high schools, which provide a head start on their college careers.
Hundreds of parents and students recently attended college night at Perry Meridian Middle School, where they reviewed SAT and ACT testing formats, the college admissions process and courses of study to enroll.
The differences between private versus public education at the college level, as well as large versus small school settings were also discussed. The importance of students’ grades and the classes they’re taking in preparation for college were emphasized. The importance of their GPAs and which schools they may be able to attend were discussed at length.
The partnerships that Perry Township Schools has with local universities is vital to keeping students on track for higher education opportunities. We’re fortunate to have great relationships with many institutions of higher learning.
Our presenters brought decades of experience to share with students to help with their college planning strategies. They offered tips as to what colleges are looking for in a student and ways to make higher education costs more affordable.
Perhaps the most beneficial part of the event was that students had an opportunity to meet with college representatives individually and gather information to learn about which schools or majors may be the best fit for them.
It is never too early to plan for future career interests. We all realize that regardless of the career chosen, additional educational experiences beyond high school will be required. Our goal is to prepare our graduates with the skills and knowledge base to be successful in whatever career paths they choose to follow.