Megan Katz, a resident of Lyndhurst, is a 2013 graduate of Charles F. Brush High School. During her time at Brush, she was in band, yearbook, a Spanish tutor, and a Sun Messenger sports contributor. She was a student in STEP UP, the district’s gifted education program, and has a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Since graduating from Brush, Megan has been studying Political Science with a focus in Law & Society, as well as minoring in history, at John Carroll University. At JCU, she is a correspondent at the Writing Center, a freelance sports writer with the Northeast Ohio Media Group, and a member of the honors program. After graduation she plans to enroll in a dual degree program and earn a Masters of Public Policy and a law degree, hoping to work in the policy arena.
When asked about what stands out about her Brush experience, she mentioned her dedicated teachers. “They really took the time to help their students learn, setting up meetings for extra help.” She mentioned Mr. Andy Harkey, a Social Studies teacher, who would meet with students at a local coffee shop Saturdays to discuss the material. “My teachers really helped pave the way for my future successes in both college and high school,” stated Megan. Her favorite memories revolved around band, where she played the trumpet. “Band helped give me more confidence.” She enjoyed spending Friday nights on the sidelines of the football field and remembers band camp as a highlight of the summer. “It was a close knit-community because a lot of friends and families were involved.” When discussing the things she didn’t like about Brush, she mentioned her disappointment when the district cut STEP UP. “STEP UP was my own ‘in-school family’ that helped foster critical thinking and creativity. When they cut the program, I was upset because I would no longer have time with this community of similar-abilitied people. It always seemed that [STEP UP] was the first program to go when the budget was slashed, prioritizing students that were struggling over us. I understand that its important to give attention to those who are not doing well academically, but without proper enrichment our giftedness might not flourish.” She was happy to learn that STEP UP is making a comeback in the SEL district.
Megan states with confidence that she felt very prepared for college after attending Brush. “Brush prepared me to meet and interact with different kinds of people,” a nod to the school’s diverse student body. “There were no defined cliques.” Groups over-lapped, she explained, and it wasn’t strange for a star on the soccer field to also be a star in the classroom. “Not everyone was like you, and that was the norm.” The honors and AP classes were also a big help in preparing for a collegiate atmosphere. “The workload in these classes definitely prepared me for my college classes.” One area where she felt college preparation was lacking was the guidance department. “I didn’t have a lot of help in the college search and college admissions process.” She mentions that her class had three different guidance counselors by the time they graduated. “We never really met with our guidance counselors unless it was to switch a class or to finalize an application. It seemed they were more focus on dealing with disciplinary issues, like kids skipping or failing classes, as opposed to actually ‘guiding.’” She does note that this is more of an administrative flaw.
“People give Brush a hard time and say they did well in spite of going there, but I firmly believe I did well because I went to Brush.” Megan’s final words struck a chord, proving the point that success does come out of 4875 Glenlyn Road. She mentioned that Brush students have the potential to do great things, and she is proud to have gone to a school where she received both an academic and life education.