As the Valedictorian of the Lennox Academy Class of 2009, and now as a high school teacher, I am asking the Lennox School Board to save the school that has meant so much to me by affirmatively voting for Lennox Academy's plan to become independent from the Lennox School District.
When life got tough for me after my mother passed away October 2008, the staff at Lennox Academy sheltered me, supported me, and made me successful. Teacher Erica Delgado took me into her home and became my legal guardian because she believed in my potential. Teacher Jose Rivas inspired me through his unending devotion to students and made me believe that I, too, had a shot at being successful. Teacher Brenda Janairo cried with me when I needed to cry and reminded me that the school was my home and it would support me.
Lennox Academy was not just great to me -- it has been consistently ranked one of America's best high schools by U.S. News -- #6 in the whole state.
But that success and the Lennox Academy community are at risk of disappearing. Our longtime Principal Mr. Armando Mena, who attended my mother’s wake to support me, resigned as a result of the unethical behavior of various district leaders and school board members. Now this community of support and excellence is at risk.
If the Lennox School Board forces the school to continue to be a dependent charter school, it will force Mr. Mena and all the teachers who supported me to go elsewhere, erasing a welcoming, supportive, creative, and rigorous environment with a 91.4 college readiness index.
But if they vote to allow Lennox Academy to become an independent charter school, this team of leaders can continue creating a community invested in our children, our students, and in giving them opportunities that are neglected to neighborhoods like Lennox that so desperately need a school like Lennox Academy.
Lennox Academy needs to remain the beacon of hope it has been for the past couple of years in a community that so desperately struggles to fight against stereotypes. They need to keep sending students like me to Harvard and other top schools. But to do that, the Lennox School Board must affirmatively vote for Lennox Academy's plan to become independent from the Lennox School District.
¡Adelante, Lennox Academy, si se puede!
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