WORDS FROM THE SUP’T: Student’s perspective on being ready

At this time of year, we as a community celebrate the amazing lives of the members of the Class of ‘17.
Each of these 650 young people has a story. Each has a gift and a passion. Each has contributed positively to our community and is ready to further pursue his or her dreams. What a gift it is to know these young people.
As the superintendent of schools, I’m often the lucky recipient of kind, insightful notes and Tweets from students. Sometimes, these lead to extended conversations, lunches, and long-term communications. I cherish these relationships as they are one of the many benefits of being an educator – we get to watch kids grow up.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with one of our seniors, Aalayna Green. She has a dream of becoming a veterinarian and a lawyer. She wants to make a profoundly positive difference in the lives of others. She will continue her education at Green Mountain College in Vermont where she has earned an academic scholarship and entrance into their Honors College.
Aalayna has a clear purpose and path for her life. She is insightful, optimistic, and thoughtful. She has made her own way in the world, working two jobs and studying in our IB program.
I asked Aalayna if she felt “ready” for college. It is with tremendous gratitude that I include her reflections in my column this month. (I invite other seniors to reach out to me as well. I would love the chance to sit down with you to learn about your experiences and to know your dreams.)
What does it mean to be ready for college? By Aalayna Green, CHS, ‘17
Having nearly completed my academic program, I can’t really say that I feel prepared for the education ahead. Have I learned how to overcome procrastination until the last possible second and still turn in the paper?
Yes, how else would I have gotten through junior year (half a joke). Did I learn to manage my time? Yes, but I still didn’t get everything I set out to get done, done. The point is that my preparedness for college is not at a level that will make college a breeze. College isn’t supposed to be easy. But, throughout my time at Clarkston Schools, and specifically at Clarkston High School, I’ve had to learn how to fend for myself academically.
I would not wish to have gone to any school district other than Clarkston. I believe that the passion and dedication my teachers have for their profession, as well as their generous support, is something that can’t be replicated in any other school district.
I believe that the opportunities I had available to me gave me composure and built my character into someone whom I am proud to be. My time in the Clarkston Schools has been mostly positive, and I think after my departure, many other students will say the same due to Clarkston’s innovative nature and desire to excel in all aspects of their students’ lives.
Thanks to Aalayna, and to each senior for all that you have contributed to Clarkston. You will always be connected here and we will forever do whatever we can to help you make your dreams come true.

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