Drew and Kelly Dockery

IMG_3109When the Dockerys moved from a small town in 2008, they did not know what to expect when they moved to South Euclid and entered the South Euclid-Lyndhurst School District. Drew ‘12 started Brush as a freshman and sister Kelly ‘14 started Memorial as a 7th grade student.  Although, they were placed into a new environment, this did not hinder them from striving for excellence in their academics, sports, and extracurricular activities. Drew is currently a senior at the New School in New York City studying Global Studies with a minor in religion. Kelly is a sophomore at John Carroll University studying Psychology with a biology minor for pre-med.

During his time at Brush, Drew was a member of the Chess Club, Debate team, Diving Team, and during his senior year he decided to join Drama Club and was in his first theatrical production, Hairspray.  Drew was also a member of the Academic Team and he still remembers his first time attending a meeting.  He was a freshman and the new kid, but he was able to impress everyone by answering an obscure history question. “From that point, I knew that I would have friends and knew that I would be successful in my new environment.” Drew believes that being able to experience diversity is important and attending a diverse high school has formed the basis of how he sees his life now. “Attending Brush gave me an impetus to work towards racial reconciliation and justice.”

Kelly was the President of the Freshman Class, Captain of the Soccer Team, Captain of the Diving Team, and was the Concertmistress of both the Orchestra and Chamber Ensemble. Kelly believes that her experience at Brush has helped her become a well-rounded person. Kelly graduated from Brush feeling prepared for college and appreciates how the guidance counselors worked hard to prepare students for college. She took honors and AP classes and was still able to manage her course load while being involved in athletics and extracurricular activities. Her favorite moments include time she spent on freshman class council, spending time with the soccer team on and off the field, and being able to enjoy football games and Top 25 with her friends.

Drew and Kelly both are grateful for having the opportunity to study Chinese at Brush.  This provided them both with the opportunity to study abroad in China for a year during their time at Brush. According to Drew, his time in China has been one of the most profound experiences in his life.  “Brush gave me the ability to interact with people who are different from me and also gave me the skills to do that in the specific setting of China. And so through China, I have since been able to work and do research there and also study abroad there, which would not have happened if it were not for the Brush Chinese Program.”

Since graduation from Brush, they have both been busy with college and have spent time studying and researching abroad.  Drew spent the summer after his freshman year on the Tibetan Plateau, studying the impact of infrastructure development on Nomadic people and later worked in Shanghai with the Boston Consulting Group.During the second semester of his sophomore year , he studied abroad in South Africa and spent time working on an organic farm outside of Cape Town during the summer. At the New School, Drew is involved in Cash Cash, a low-income student group, and the New School Theater Collective.  After graduating, Drew plans to go to graduate school and then live and work in China.

Kelly spent this past summer in Ethiopia and Kenya. She was working to empower people by the means of providing medical care, setting people up with prosthetics, working with orphanages, helping people to get training for creating their own income generating businesses, and allowing them to create long-lasting success in their lives and being able to cut foreign aid.  At John Carroll University, Kelly is on the Soccer team and the Swimming and Diving Team.  For Kelly, being fluent in Chinese has allowed her to help out Chinese international students at John Carroll University. She has translated for them during the international orientation and serves as a tutor to help them with their English. After graduation, Kelly plans to go to Medical School and is interested in opening up clinics  throughout areas that lack access to proper medical care and these clinics would be run by local medical providers.

Drew and Kelly are both proud to be alumni of Brush High School and believe that attending the school has prepared them for life in the “real world.” Drew encourages all families to send their kids to Brush. “It is time for middle-class families to start sending their kids back to Brush. If we want to have a healthy school system, if we want to have kids who are well-rounded, if we want to have IMG_3365kids who are prepared to exist in an increasingly globalized and increasingly diverse world, then this is critical.” And Kelly encourages all students to apply themselves and make the best of their experience.  “Brush is a school that if you invest time and effort into it, you can get great things out of it.”

Teddy Eisenberg

11847710_1716842368456125_1232864283_oIf you have ever had the pleasure of meeting Teddy Eisenberg, you’ve probably noticed his booming voice or firm handshake. Valedictorian of the class of 2012, he is currently a rising senior at Case Western Reserve University and focusing in the social sciences. “I’m double majoring in history and economics and working toward a double minor in political science and public policy.” Teddy grew up in South Euclid and began his SEL experience in kindergarten at Rowland Elementary.

At Brush, Teddy was involved in multiple activities including marching band, Key Club, National Honor Society, AV club, academic team, and tennis. He describes his time in the district as an invaluable experience. “SEL isn’t an ‘echo chamber:’ you rub shoulders with people on a daily basis you might not typically interact with. It allows you to grow.” The skills he learned in AV even helped him land a job at The City Club of Cleveland, the nation’s oldest free speech club. “It’s cool to be able to go into that kind of situation with the unique skill set the people hiring are looking for. I’m currently serving as content associate.” For this, and many other reasons, Teddy is grateful for the effort he put his education with the SEL schools.

His fondest memories often center on his skilled and passionate teachers. “Many of them wanted to make students better people and their guidance surpassed the classroom.” He specifically mentioned Mr. Beck, Mr. Laplanche, Mr. Bennett, and Mr. Harkey. Teddy also mentioned his fondness for Doc Jones, an English teacher whom he never had in class. “We both had a love of Humphrey Bogart and would discuss it in between classes in the hallways.”

As a student at Case, Teddy has been keeping busy studying at working. “Aside from my school work and The City Club, I also work at the Case college radio station.” He has greatly enjoyed working his way through the ranks at the station, and has served in multiple capacities. He encourages everyone to check out 91.1 WRUW.

After completing his degree, Teddy plans on staying in Cleveland and possibly taking on more responsibilities at The City Club. “I would love to be offered a full-time job after graduation. It’s a great place that is hosting important dialogue in this city.” He is considering grad school at some point in the future, possibly in econ or public policy. “I’d like to take a break from schooling for a little bit,” he laughs. Teddy also shared his hopes for the revival of Northeast Ohio: “I hope the Cleveland Renaissance continues and is able to extend beyond the city’s white community. I also hope it doesn’t come to an end after the Republican National Convention. Cleveland is a great place.”

Teddy has been encouraged by The SEL Experience Project and the work it’s been doing. “I’ve been following it on social media and I think it’s a really great thing.” He was happy to share his experiences and advice regarding obtaining success in the South Euclid-Lyndhurst public schools. “The district is going to give you success just for showing up. You have to reach below the surface, find what you are passionate about, and work for it. You really get what you give in this district.”

Dr. David & Alice Miller

IMG_3923Dr. David & Alice Miller moved into their South Euclid home in 1996. Their son, David, is a 2015 graduate of Charles F. Brush High School and began his SEL experience in kindergarten at Lowden. He will be attending Case in the fall. Dr. Miller serves as a professor in the Jack, Joseph & Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. Mrs. Miller is a social worker by training and works at the VA with EEO discrimination cases. They are active members in the community, with Dr. Miller is finishing out his term on the South Euclid City Council.

The Millers’ first experience with the district was through the praise of neighborhood families. “We had friends whose oldest child went to Lowden and they absolutely loved it,” shares David. Alice adds, “there was a racial impression of Lowden, since it was a majority Black school. We were told ‘don’t believe the rumors’, and Lowden did prove to be excellent. It was small and very family oriented.” As their son moved through the district, they continued to notice the excellence in the SEL public schools. “Over the years, there have been more service offered for people needing IEPs, free & reduced lunch services, as well as adapting different models of education. But the district has also been very good at using its resources to helping the ‘achievers’ as well.”

Both strong proponents of public education, Dr. & Mrs. Miller viewed their son’s time in the South Euclid-Lyndhurst School District as a beneficial experience. “The best way to understand each other is in the classroom,” David firmly believes. “It’s a way to connect with your community. For us, it didn’t make sense for our son to play with his neighbors but not go to school with them.” They have proven to be valuable members of the school community, volunteering with PTA, Band Boosters, Athletic Boosters, co-chairing levy campaigns, and simply showing up to a variety of events. “Public schools need strong family support.”

What makes the South Euclid-Lyndhurst City Schools so strong? “The teachers are phenomenal,” David & Alice report. They also credit the new administration for leading the district in a good direction. “They seem very accessible to the public and use their resources properly.” The Millers also commend the families they’ve met throughout their SEL experience. “They are dedicated to their kids’ education and future and they exude a warmth that makes the school feel very welcoming.” The disappointing aspects of SEL? “Parental involvement is lacking and the sports program has been kind of disappointing in recent years.”

The Millers believe their son David had a very good experience at Brush and the rest of the SEL schools and enjoyed his time there. “We’ve all met incredible people through the schools, and David made great friends throughout his years in the district.” They also point to the classes preceding David for keeping the families compelled to stay in the district. “When you see kids from the schools going to places like Princeton, Ohio State, Case, Michigan, Northwestern, it really puts in perspective that you can achieve great things here.”

To those that are unfamiliar or unconvinced by the schools in South Euclid & Lyndhurst, the Millers offer many insights: “this district has a committed group of teachers and administrators who really care about the students. By keeping your children out of the public schools, they are missing out on a valuable experience and will lack a connectedness to the community. Public education is a great equalizer, which makes it as important now as it has ever been.”