If you were able to attend our State of the Schools presentation in February (you can watch it here) you heard Worthington Academy Senior Olivia LoGuidice share her story. Olivia talked about her struggles as a Freshman and Sophomore at Thomas Worthington and how the opportunity to learn in a different way at Worthington Academy has changed the direction of her future goals. Her story was inspiring.
Last week Olivia’s story got even better. On Wednesday Olivia completed her coursework and graduated from Worthington Schools. I’m hopeful that Olivia will choose to attend our official graduation ceremony on May 21st because I would love to be able to shake her hand and congratulate her officially. Late Wednesday afternoon Olivia sent me this simple tweet: “@TBowers3 @wcsdistrict it’s been such an honor to be a first gen. Academy student. So grateful for this district and the Academy family” She brought tears to this old man’s eyes.
In Worthington, we work hard to help every student find their place of connection. I can’t say that we’re always successful but when we are, and when a program that has been developed and supported by our school board, works to help a young lady change the direction of her future it’s totally awesome!
As we’ve been growing as a school district (877 students since 2012 and another 800-1,000 projected in the next five years) we are engaging in a master facilities planning process in order to make certain we have the space needed to serve all of our students and have a plan to address aging facilities. In almost every one of these conversations, someone says to me “just move Linworth, Phoenix, Worthington Academy or Rockbridge out. We shouldn’t support programs that are specialized when we have space needs.” I understand this thinking and it is rational thought. Unfortunately, I also think it’s potentially dangerous.
Students today learn differently than students did in previous generations. As a school district, we believe that whenever possible we should be providing educational options for our students that will engage their unique needs and help put them on the path to a prosperous future. Our choice-based programs help us accomplish those goals and as we plan for our shared future I think it’s very important for us as a community to think long and hard about these programs and if at all possible protect them to serve future generations of students.
Olivia’s story tells you why that is so very important. Congratulations Olivia! Welcome to our Worthington Schools Alumni Family!
- Trent Bowers, Superintendent