Kasey and her grandfather

Without the encouragement of teachers at Premier High School of Dayton, Kasey Wilson does not believe she would have graduated. Now she wants to be a special education teacher so she can help people reach their graduation goals.

“I probably would have dropped out of high school without Premier. My classmates at my local public school were not very encouraging and I wasn’t grasping the concepts in the classroom,” says Kasey.

Hearing about Premier High School of Dayton from friends who attended the school, Kasey decided to transfer to Premier her freshman year. With the smaller environment and teachers available to work with her one-on-one, Kasey had the tools she needed.

“The curriculum really made a difference for me. I would read through the units. When I had an issue, I went to my teacher who would would break the concepts down for me,” she says.

The next step toward graduation for Kasey was developing the necessary discipline and self-motivation to complete her course work.

“When I got to Premier in my first year, I got in the mindset that it is an at-your-own-pace school and I didn’t complete my work. It got me into a lot of trouble,” says Kasey.

She credits her teacher, Rachel Mendoza, with helping her get into the rhythm of school, “In my old school, I would sit at the back of the classroom and zone out. Ms. Mendoza would have none of that. She made me sit next to her in the front of the classroom and would make sure I was working.”

While she didn’t appreciate the attention at first, she started seeing her grades improve and began to take responsibility for her work. One area she had originally struggled in was math.

“It takes me a lot of repetition to understand math, but my teachers were willing to explain the concepts and go over them again and again. I actually remember 90 percent of what I learned with them,” says Kasey.

As her understanding and confidence improved, Kasey started tutoring the younger students in math, which gave her additional opportunities to solidify her understanding.

Kasey graduated from Premier High School of Dayton in May of 2017. She is now attending Tyler Junior College with plans to transfer to The University of Texas in Tyler. She says the self-motivation, discipline and study skills she developed at Premier has already put her ahead in college.

“Premier requires you to take notes in a certain way. At first I thought it was a waste of time, but when I got to college, they were teaching everyone to take notes that way. I was already taking notes that way because of Premier,” she explains.

Kasey encourages any students who are struggling in their current school to consider Premier High School, “They are really good at helping kids get to where they want to be. I am pretty self-motivated.”

Because of the inspiring teachers she has had, Kasey wants to teach special education after she graduates from college.

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