Meghan Lembright

Meghan Lembright 1Meghan Lembright has resided in Lyndhurst since birth. She began her SEL experience in kindergarten at Ridgebury Elementary School and graduated as salutatorian of the Charles F. Brush Class of 2013. Meghan is currently a rising junior at the University of Michigan, where she is majoring in biopsychology, cognition, & neuroscience with a minor in biology.

Meghan thoroughly enjoyed her time at Brush High School. She made many great friendships and received an excellent education that has prepared her for her future at Michigan. During her time at Brush, Meghan was involved in Key Club, National Honors Society, marching band, and student council her sophomore year. Outside of school, she was a competitive dancer and instructor. Her favorite memory from high school is the homecoming assembly her senior year, where she and friends had the honor of being selected for the Top 25.

As far as academics, Meghan feels as though she received an exceptional education from the teachers in the SEL school district. All of the instructors she had cared deeply about the success of their students. Meghan’s favorite classes at Brush were AP calculus BC with Mr. Foerg and the French classes she took with Mr. Laplanche. “Both teachers went out of their way to challenge their students, while ensuring they provided the necessary help to aid them in being successful,” says Meghan.

While she loved her time at Brush High School, Meghan felt as though only a quarter of the students in each grade put forth their best effort academically. She believed every student had the opportunity to receive an outstanding education at Brush, but some students did not have the motivation to excel in the classroom. “If each student at Brush used the resources given to them by the teachers and the SEL school district, they could all have great success.”

Meghan Lembright 2Today, Meghan enjoys attending the University of Michigan in scenic Ann Arbor. She is a member of multiple campus organizations, including the pre-dental club, Pi Beta Phi sorority, and Impact dance. She also works with the Detroit Partnership, through which she makes weekly visits to Michigan’s most populous city to volunteer. Meghan plans to attend dental school upon graduating from U of M. She is challenged each and everyday, taking classes with top students from around the country. Although her classes are difficult, the education she received from the SEL school district has allowed her to be successful.

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Jamal Perry

Jamal is second from the left in the first picture.

Jamal 2Jamal Perry is a lifelong resident of South Euclid and a Charles F. Brush High School alumnus. He started his SEL experience in kindergarten at Rowland and continued through high school. Since graduating in 2013, Jamal has enrolled at The Ohio State University in Columbus where he is studying mechanical engineering. He is spending the summer in Connecticut interning at Pratt & Whitney, an aerospace engineering firm.

At Brush, Jamal met many interesting people and friends that he still keeps in touch with. “I also got a great education,” he affirms.  Some of his favorite memories involve playing on the Arcs’ soccer team. “It was great playing those four years and all the friends I made in the process.” He also attributes playing soccer to his development of perseverance. “Soccer made me a ‘fighter’ which has given me the ability to chase goals and overcome adversity. Soccer has made me a better person.” Aside from soccer, Jamal also played baseball and participated in track & field.

When it comes to academics, Jamal’s memorable teachers include Mr. Foerg and Mr. Swinerton. “Mr. Foerg’s AP Calculus BC class really helped prepare me for college, both in content and how it was organized.” He explains that in AP Calculus, homework was optional and not counted for a grade. “There were no points awarded for doing your homework, which meant completing it was for your own personal benefit. Many of my engineering classes have a similar structure, which means you have to motivate yourself to do the work. Sometimes it’s difficult, but it only helps you. He also enjoyed AP stats with Mr. Swinerton. “I really liked stats because it felt very applicable to real life, and Swin was a great teacher.”

While he fondly remembers the group of AP and honors students who were driven to succeed, he discussed the large gap in academic motivation. “There were really smart kids who pushed themselves and wanted to succeed, but after the top 30 students or so it fell off. You could tell there were kids there that just didn’t want to be there. It all had to do with self-motivation.”

At Ohio State, Jamal can often be found at his on-campus job. “I work at the RPAC, which is the main recreation center on campus.” When he’s not at work, he also helps out with WeTruck, a team working on building a low-cost SUV for people in Guatemala. This past May, he went on a service trip through Ohio State to Detroit to work on an urban farm as a member of Humanitarian Engineering Scholars. “These farms are meant to provide produce to communities that don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables in their grocery stores or shopping marts.” He is also a member of Lambda Psi, a minority engineering honorary. After finishing his bachelor’s degree, Jamal plans to earn a master’s degree in bioengineering. “I want to understand how muscles, tissues, and tendons work.” He hopes improve the procedures and equipment that are used in knee surgeries.Jamal

Jamal says attending Brush was a great experience. “There’s a lot of diversity, which prepares you for real world situations and benefits you in college.” He believes that his time in the SEL schools has benefitted him in ways that extend beyond the classroom. “I’m more prepared for life because I went to Brush.

Erin Lee

Erin Lee 1 Erin Lee, a former South Euclid resident, joined the SEL family in the 7th grade. Since graduating from Brush High School in 2013, she has moved to Columbus and enrolled in The Ohio State University where she is studying Public Health. During her senior year at Brush, she was voted “Most Involved” and her list of after-school activities prove that she was a fixture around the school. “I was in student council, National Honor Society, book club, art club, the MAC Scholars group for female students, and played volleyball.

When asked to describe her Brush experience, Erin says she felt prepared for her transition to Ohio State. “I felt prepared for OSU academically, as well as socially because of the diverse student body.” Her favorite memories include designing senior class t-shrits, prom, and playing on the volleyball team. What disappointed her about her years at Brush was the lack of school spirit, which she believes was caused partially because of the lack of school events. “I think if we had more pep rallies and dances and other events like that, we would have had stronger school spirit and a closer knit school community.” Still, she enjoyed her time at Brush. “I would change nothing about my time at Brush. Everyone has their journey and things happen for a reason.” She mentions Ms. Curry her favorite teacher: “Ms. Curry really allowed me to grow both in art and as a person, and taught me how to be more open-minded in life.”

In her time at Ohio State, Erin has become the vice president of the Society of Sisters, as well as as mentor in The Girls Circle Project and College Mentors for Kids. She says Brush made her more open-minded and taught her hoErin Lee 2w to interact with people of varying backgrounds on a different level. Her only complaint about her high school experience was the lack of career planning that was offered. “I switched my major five times in my first two years at Ohio State,” Erin explains. She wishes that students were given the opportunity to do more career exploration and understand the paths one could take. “Maybe then I wouldn’t have switched my major five times.” Erin has yet to figure out her long term plans, but she is confident that Brush and Ohio State will have prepared her for whatever is to come.

Mr. Andy Harkey

Mr. Andy Harkey wasn’t always a high school social studies teacher. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, he spent almost 15 years working in the political realm of Washington, DC. “After graduating from [UNC Chapel Hill], I didn’t really have a set career plan. I knew I liked politics and history and government, so I took a paid internship with a congressmen and it turned into a full-time job.” He spent 9 ½ years working for congressmen in the House of Representatives, before becoming a lobbyist for the American Financial Services Association. “Working in Washington was a very exciting and interesting experience.”

After moving to the Cleveland area, he managed a small business for some time before deciding to make a career change. “In Washington, I met a Vietnam War veteran who was passionate about the importance of teaching history. He taught a night class at the University of Maryland and invited me to help out. After that experience, teaching became a possible career option for me in the back of my mind.” He enrolled in the Masters of Education program at John Carroll University and his intern program placed him at Brush. “That’s what led me here.”

How does he feel about his time teaching? “The staff here at Brush is really good. I think we have some of the best teachers in the state, and I’m confident about the quality of instruction we offer.” Mr. Harkey also believes that Brush and SEL still offers a tremendous variety of opportunities to any type of student. “Even through the rough economic times and waning community support, we’ve still managed to offer excellent educational opportunities to our students.”

Mr. Harkey hopes that our political environment will swing back in favor of public schools. “It’s an important foundation of this country.” His time at Brush has introduced him to great kids who have gone onto do great things. He’s thankful for the relationships he’s had with former students, who still take the effort to let him know what they’re up to. “I’ve had some really great students.”