Every day, the collective staff at Woodward Academy works with students to help them make positive decisions in their life. Whether it be guiding students in phase work, teaching them how to add fractions, or confronting their negative behavior, it can become very easy for these things to become common place and to lose sight of the impact that we have on these students. Over the past 11 years, I have seen a lot of things, yet I am reminded about the work that we do here at Woodward Academy. One of those conversations happened last week.
I was in my office when a student told me how he was frustrated that he was being asked to stay at Woodward Academy for a few months longer. This was a student who had attended WA for about a year and he had been performing well. He is a Knight, active in athletics, and has good relationships with students and staff. But he had it in his mind that he would be able to go home and didn’t handle the news the best that he could have. Part of me was sympathetic toward his feelings of wanting to go home because he deserved it.
Read more after the break.
During the conversation, he communicated that he was staying so that he could graduate high school and earn his diploma. Staying at WA was clearly the best choice because his education would be accomplished then and he could focus on getting a job when he returned home. He understood this and was very excited about the fact that he was so close to earning his diploma. He communicated that he would be only the second person in his family to have earned their diploma. I congratulated him on his accomplishments and encouraged him to follow up with the individual staff members who helped ensure that this would happen. The same people that he may have been rude to when they asked that he stay. A day later, he told me that he did what I encouraged him to do and was in high spirits.
Although this is a small example of what happens every day, it is a good example of how being on our campus helped change his life. A couple years ago, earning his high school diploma was a nearly unattainable goal and he did not know how to communicate effectively with adults. In a month, he will be a high school graduate and a student who understands the importance of maintaining positive relationships.