Alumni of The Oaks: Extended Content
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The Benefits of a Rigorous Curriculum
One of the biggest things I’m sure most of us ask as students is ‘Why are we taking Latin?’ Everybody always wonders that, but then I actually ended up taking it throughout high school too. I tried Spanish but I didn’t like it because I didn’t want to speak it, just read and write it which I was good at with Latin anyway. Latin in high school was the only time I set the curve on a test, and I felt so proud of myself. Plus, I got to go to Italy because I studied Latin, so that paid off!
I was exposed to things that other kids my age weren’t exposed to and I realized that when I got to high school. There were certain things, like the way I thought and the way I approached situations, that were very different. I credit that to the way we learned things at The Oaks, because I didn’t think like everybody else.
The Impact of Specials
Art was by far my favorite; even in high school, I took an art class every semester. Mrs. Stark was the art teacher my entire time at The Oaks and we did some cool stuff. I actually still have some of my artwork on my walls in my bedroom at home, and I still have my nature book. That was when I actually realized I was good at art.
I never really tapped into it until I started to do a bunch of stuff at The Oaks, and I realized ‘Oh, I’m actually really good at this.’ The first thing I did that was really good was when we went to Crown Hill and painted a giant Oak tree with watercolors. That was when my teacher told me ‘Amaris, that’s really good,’ and I was like, ‘You’re right.’ I was just painting with headphones in and I was super zoned in to it. I painted a whole tree in that 20-30 minutes that we had. I discovered all of my skills at The Oaks because they stimulated our little brains.
The Importance of Relationships
One day when I was working at Outback Steakhouse in the ‘To Go’ area, one of the servers said their table asked for me. They didn’t know who it was and I thought it was weird but I went over there. I turned the corner and before he even said a word, I recognized him! It was Mr. Tony, the janitor at The Oaks from 1st-8th grade when I was there.
I still remembered him, and he remembered me! He said, ‘I knew that was you, Amaris.’ I didn’t even know the janitors at my job, but I remembered the janitor from The Oaks. At The Oaks, literally every single person is instrumental in the students’ lives. Every person, every teacher, every faculty member.
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