Five 2015 Academy of Global Studies @ Winton Woods High School graduates—Micaiah Dawson, Jackson Kramer, Alexander Kuhn, De’Vante Montgomery, and Jordan Randolph—joined Waycross Community Media host Jason Grzegorek and Winton Woods Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Dr. Terri Holden to talk about their experience with the New Tech Network and project-based learning and how it helped prepare them for college.
Dawson, now a political science major at Ft. Valley State University of Georgia, said learning to communicate and deal with people, both parts of the New Tech learning model, has helped him to effectively communicate his ideas and what he wants to accomplish to those he works with in college. “New Tech instilled in me a maturity when it comes to being an individual,” he said. “You won’t always get your way, so you have to learn how to handle other people’s ideas and what they tell you. You have to combine their ideas with yours.”
Kramer, a human resources management major at Northern Kentucky University, agreed.
“New Tech taught me how to be an individual, to learn as an individual, and at the same time work with other people in groups and on projects. When talking to other people I realized I know more about the world and how the world works than people who didn’t have the luxury of a New Tech program.”
Montgomery, a political science and writing major at Miami University in Oxford, said his New Tech experience taught him “about community engagement and more about how to be a productive member of the world and society as a whole.”
Kuhn, a biomedical engineering student at the University of Cincinnati, said New Tech “was challenging and that’s what you need as a high schooler. How can you overcome adversity without any sense of challenge? Learning that lesson in high school, you can take that to college, and into your future and your career as well.”
Holden praised the students for choosing AGS, with its emphasis on global education and project-based learning, and for leading the way through what was then a new educational experience for district students. “When this opportunity was put in front of them, they jumped,” she said. Holden then asked if the group thought their choice was a good decision. “Do you wish you had done something differently?”
Montgomery said before he started with New Tech he asked himself if he could handle the workload and time management. Knowing he could, he moved forward. “I have no regrets because I learned from those,” he said. “I’ve learned from the past to prevent the missteps for the future.”
Dawson said being part of AGS wasn’t an easy choice. “I wouldn’t have struggled as much (in traditional high school), but how AGS has made me grow is what’s important. I’m glad I made the tough choice because taking that narrow path made me stronger.”
Randolph, a business major at Ohio State University, said he “learned way more than I would have in traditional school. I have good presentation skills for college projects and this increased my interest in looking at other cultures.”
“I regret that I could have applied myself even a little more,” said Jackson. “I don’t regret anything about the program. I learned most of my college life skills from it.”
Holden called herself fortunate to be an educator. “We get to see the fruit of our work,” she said. “These young men are a small sample of the fine product Winton Woods has in terms of really thoughtful, skilled young adults that leave this system. Pay attention to these young men, they are going places. And everyone should be proud.”