Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email
TOLEDO (WTOL) - "I've grown weary of people that say it can't be done at this school, because schools like this all over the country are achieving at high level."
That was Pickett Principal Susan Koester last year when she took on one of the toughest jobs in TPS -- overhauling Pickett Academy.
Fast forward a year, and Koester said Wednesday, September 16, "Although we're disappointed in the scores, we're not discouraged."
The change is slight, but it's there. This time, the principal sounds more confident that she can pull her school out of academic emergency, the state's lowest designation.
It started with regaining control.
"People would keep on messing with me, and I'd get mad about it and trying to start fights," said one student named Romell.
Koester took a different approach. Instead of sending kids to in-school suspension, "they'll sit down, talk to them, and see why they keep on picking with people," explained the Romell.
Now kids are spending less time in the office and more time learning. It's a lesson that is finding it's way home. "Since my mom is working around the clock and my step-dad is too, I'm usually with my grandmother. She's not feeling well, so I help her out with the younger ones," another student said.
Koester said she's not sure what this year holds, but she knows the teachers have begun charting their way to success. "They are committed to the children and to the plan that we've put in place."