I began attending Excelsior Academy in the 6th grade, and recently graduated as part of the Class of 2014. During my years at Excelsior, I learned many important life skills and experienced great personal growth. One of the best aspects of Excelsior is the staff because everyone wants to help and see you achieve your goals. The staff truly made me feel I could do anything I set my mind to. I know the staff cares tremendously for the students. This creates a core element which makes the school whole, and unified.
I learned how to adapt in difficult situations, including some that I had no control over. The school has SLEs (School-wide Learning Expectations) that became a guide for my learning, in all kinds of environments in andout of the classroom. The SLEs are Respect, Responsibility, Literate, Thinking, Independent and Productive. These cornerstones assisted me in creating my educational and personal goals.
I received various services such as Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Counseling and, my favorite, Music Therapy. I was able to express my feelings to people I could trust, and express them through writing music. I learned many life skills such as how to write a resume, working, mathematics, and increase my vocabulary.
Excelsior is more than a school – it is a place where students have days, weeks, months, and years to understand that being different is a good thing. Students and parents look, and find the right services to meet their needs at Excelsior. We all worked with IEPs (Individual Education Plans). An IEP helps the staff see the student for who they are, and their goals – despite their disabilities. Everyone, staff and students, looks out for each other with best intentions.
I was an active student at Excelsior. I was a mentorto younger students, served on the Student Council for 4 years, participated in Girls Group, worked in the Student Store, and played intramural soccer. As a Senior, I had an amazing opportunity that made me realize what I wanted to do after graduation. I was invited to assist at San Carlos Preschool; I did this during my school day as part of Excelsior’s Transition program. Working with small children one-on-one was a great experience and helped guide me to where I am now.
I am now attending Mesa College working toward an Associates Degree in Child Development. I have a certificate of Assistant teaching which allows me to look for employment at a preschool. I am so proud of how far I have come because Excelsior taught me to never give up. I don’t just thank Excelsior – I also thank my grandparents for placing me in a school where students learn and grow in a safe environment.