Recent graduate of Dundalk says the school changed in four years
I received an email from Dundalk High School's salutatorian yesterday and I wanted to share with readers what he wrote after reading my story in Sunday's paper about Dundalk's turnaround.
Dear Ms. Bowie:
Let me give you a little background about myself before I launch into the real reason I am writing you. I was the Salutatorian of the Class of 2011 of Dundalk High School. I took at an FBLA team to the National Competition this year in Orlando, Florida under the tutelage of Mr. Patrick Holt. I received several scholarships from Dundalk and attended the CTE dinner for my work in conjunction with my education at Sollers. I am by no means the average DHS student, but I still have a passion for the school and the teachers that have so greatly impacted my life. I am currently studying Church Ministries at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida.
As a recent graduate of Dundalk High, I can tell you personally how your article on its improvement has impacted me. I started as a freshman at DHS in the fall of 2007, a short whilte before the restructuring was ordered. I would simply like to take a moment and let you know from the perspective of a student that has seen both sides of the restructuring about the incredible change that has taken place in that institution.
Sophomore year, when the restructuring was first initiated was quite a different story. I noticed Shouldice pushed the teachers to their limits. He wanted them to care whether the students succeeded or not and he wanted them to teach to the best of their ability. I would say Shouldice was an integral part in the driving force that continues to shape Dundalk today.
Junior year marked the same gradual change as did Sophomore year. Slightly elevated test scores, better attendance, more strict enforcement of rules and policies. New teachers coming and going each year threw some of the students, including myself off. However, I would say my defining moment came junior year. This was the second year that I had Ms. Jane Dulin for English. She is perhaps one of the best teachers in teh school and I have developed a close relationship with her. She was the one that really pushed me to be all that I could be, to challenge myself and stretch my limits.
Senior year was notably different than my freshman year. All of the teachers were happy to be teaching there. There was a great difference in student motivation and conduct because of the enforcement of the rules and the friendlier atmosphere. There was a great deal more technology in the school and it was much more accessible to the average student. Senior year was the year that I met mr. Pat Holt, my FBLA advisor and a close friend.
The difference between the "old" DHS and the current DHS is the difference between night and day. I wrote this message both to share with you some of my own experiences in this "failing school," but also to reinforce the fact that there have been great changes in Dundalk as a whole.