Reverend Sarah Fowler, Deacon at the congregations of St Peter's and St Paul's episcopal churches is a well known voice for charities around Key West and offered up her words of support for the new graduates as well at the convocation. The school's various outgoings, field trips and goofs around the classrooms were recorded and presented on a slide show because in a school with less than two dozen students everyone is friends with, and dramatic participants with, everyone else.My wife is not technically a Principal in the District because her school is technically part of Key West High School but she has of course made some friendships with people over the three years the Academy has been operating and she is always going on about the principal at Gerald Adams school, and this year she snagged Frannie Herrin to speak and speak she did, upbeat cheerful and brief (as she promised she would be).And there they were all angelic in white, and tearful and emotional and grateful for the second chance they got, after heading for failure elsewhere in their short lives.I watched one mum I know eyes glued to her offspring on stage and later we laughed about the relief of getting it done, a landmark success and a glorious first step in what was a wobbly academic career.
You, she graduated, FCATs and all the other horrors of modern standardized testing behind her...for now.These girls have been turned around thanks to individualized class work, close attention by teachers and endless patience "...I know I wasn't the easiest student to deal with..." is a common theme at Keys Center graduations.We live in parlous times for education in America and our leaders scream about paying taxes, and cutting deficits and not creating jobs and on and on and on but here one can see the impact of supporting these marginal students, of making a contract with them that if they apply themselves they will be driven to graduate.
I cheered my wife on and thought about the end of school on Friday and summer vacations, once held to allow kids to help bring in the harvest and now practiced as a tradition and little else. I think she'll sleep soundly for a week before she starts planning next year's classroom tactics.