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.

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