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I feel compelled to share this really amazing little success story. I say this because I feel like it’s the best parenting I’ve ever done.

My daughter left the eighth grade with five F’s from Taft junior high. I spent that whole summer stressing, not understanding how I was going to get this little girl through high school-even when she understood that credits were imperative to being able to advance. With the way that the eighth grade had gone I was fairly certain we weren’t going to make it through the ninth grade. Then I started my job at Oceanlake Elementary doing admin, just before school was starting I had a conversation with another administrative parent and she started to tell me about Career Tech and how her son who had been at risk & struggling was graduating, she was so proud of him.

Mind you, I had heard of Career Tech but in my antiquated brain it was the “alternative high school” where they would send the pregnant girls or the kids with multicolored hair and attitude problems in the 90s. The stigma, I didn’t want my kid going to an alternative high school with what I believed would be “alternative students”.  

However, after that conversation I called Career Tech and I spoke with Donna (so helpful) and she told me that we were down to the wire and there was only a couple spots left but that she was going to need to write a significant essay and also have letters of reference speaking to her character. I was so impressed with the idea that she had to meet a benchmark to get into the school that right away what I thought I knew about “alternative high schools” was falling to the wayside. We scrambled to get her essays and references so that she could attend. If you’re not familiar, Career Tech is a high school on the top floor of the Lincoln City library, it’s such an enamoring little place, their mascot is even a student drawn Dragon!

We got her enrolled and everything has really been smooth, we ran into some transportation issues early on because the district doesn’t support transportation to that particular school, and they should. But we made it work, and when I say it worked, it worked in a really magnificent way! My daughter was learning how to put together and take apart drones and started writing a book- (that people enjoyed) She had been assessed to the point she was out of grade level for so many things that we would’ve never understood or known about her- Had I continued to force a square peg in a round hole, and I have literally probably called her, “a square peg in a round hole” in reference to Career Tech 50 times over the past few years explaining to people what a life-changing experience that was.  What was going to be torturous and so hard at Taft High became effortless and embracing at Career Tech.

The communication was strong, the expectation was firm and as a direct result my 17-year-old daughter is graduating as a junior. This school deserves way more appreciation and value. For example, when I went to do her senior pictures locally they were unfamiliar with this high school. This school breeds really smart kids, the same way every school does. They are graduating four kids on June 4th, my daughter happens to be one of them. The truth of it is,  is that it’s four kids who probably wouldn’t have graduated from a traditional high school and that alone is a success story.

I am emotional as I empty nest my house going forward, but I’m also emotional because this is an accomplishment that I think she wouldn’t have achieved had this school not been an option. I will always champion Career Tech, and I will tell you if you have a student that is a square peg in around hole, there is a place where they fit!!! Our community should make sure that that Career Tech is supported in LCSD so that more kids can take it advantage of it! Trust me- one day you might need an “alternative” option, and you’ll wish you had Career Tech High School.


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