Author: J.T. Elmore, Secondary Principal, Roscoe Collegiate High School
7 years! That is the grand total amount of time I have had the privilege of working in Texas ISDs. 19 years if we add in the Texas education I received as a young student. 11 years that it took to get my bachelor’s and another 1 to get the old master’s degree. Somehow I managed 8 different schools before I graduated from high school. It took me 5 different colleges to get all of that finished up. I don’t know about you, but that is a lot of teachers, coaches, classrooms, and years to get me to this point. The real question today, though, is what is my point?
I was your average dyslexic, ADDHDD, boy. I didn’t care for or like school, and reading has always been a struggle. The only problem I had in my life was that my dad didn’t understand my issues. Each morning I made a choice to get up and go to school, where I would try to apply myself and usually succeeded so that I didn’t have to be at home where manual labor awaited me. By the time I reached high school graduation, my dad had so convinced me that education was my only way out that I did exactly that. I went to college and what a world opened up to me. Yep, you guessed it, I was free and could go to work every day and skip school.
After promptly failing my way out of school, I managed to live out my dream. I managed to live in 5 countries and 4 states all while putting bombs on airplanes, legally! I picked up 3 kids and a wife on the way as well. That last one got me, though. She promptly insured I was back in school, and so began those 11 years of college.
Today I work to convince students that education is the choice. It isn’t about high school, college, and classrooms, but it IS about education. The CEN model has provided a way for students with everything or nothing to explore and grow in directions that were not even created when I was a student. It took me a long time to arrive at this point in my life. This year we hired a teacher that is only one year removed from our halls as a high school student. He is growing and learning to be one of the great life changers in Roscoe. Everyone has a story, and I enjoy being a part of a system that allows students to build their story with such support.