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We set out to interview real, Michigan charter school graduating seniors to uncover why they LOVE their school, how it helped prepare them for their next steps, and where their path leads next! Check out our interview with charter alumna (2015), Lisa Stambaugh!
As long as I can remembered I have always loved school and most of my academics. One thing that I realized is that there are sometimes struggles and hurdles that are harder than others to overcome, however with some time, help of teachers, classmates, and my parents it was possible to overcome those challenges. The school started as North Central Academy (NCA) when I was going into my sophomore year of high school (it had another name prior to that), and it is known in the community for its family atmosphere. Many of the teachers have been beyond selfless when it has come to the students of NCA and many times they have been that constant guiding hand for any student (no matter the grade level).
My favorite subject in school has always been math! I had an amazing math teacher, Mr Breithaupt, most of my time in high school and he inspired me to do my best, not just in math class but in all my classes and my future life. My favorite extracurricular had to be dance, when it was offered, and a class called senior seminar. In that class we had the chance to talk about what we were going to do after high school, learn about and look into college, as well learn other pre-job skills. Although, the best part in my opinion, was the chance to work in some of the elementary classes. During this time we worked with the teachers, helping with miscellaneous tasks, and worked our way up to working with the students. The chance to work one-on-one with the students was the spark to my desire to go into special education. I also enjoyed the fine arts at the school and to this day I still love to dance, sing, and sketch! During my junior year there were a few students who qualified for National Honor Society, so that club began. Outside of NCA I was involved with a youth organization (IORG) which involves participating in much service work, which was an amazing way to tie my school life and personal life more together by doing many service projects with NHS.
I had many teachers who inspired me to be an educator, but there were two teachers in my last few years of school who really inspired me to go into education. Those two teachers were Mr. Breithaupt, my math teacher, and Mrs. Kettlewell, who was the classroom teacher I worked with during my senior year and she is now the vice-principal of our school. I saw the way Mr. Breithaupt worked with the students of many grades and levels, which showed me the huge importance of teaching in a way that works for all students, including using multiple examples and techniques/strategies. He also helped fuel my passion for math in general! As for Mrs. Kettlewell, she showed me what it is like to deal with many obstacles thrown at educators and still be a very effective teacher and an amazing role model to all students. She made connections with each of her 30+ students in her class that year, each of which were very genuine. Dealing with the pressures of education and personal life, she still kept the model of putting her students first in all situations, which is what I aspire to do as well.
School: North Central Academy (2015), Eastern Michigan University (2020)
Next adventure: Special Education teacher @ North Central Academy
Dreams & goals: Make a difference in students' lives!