Strategies for Student Success 2015 - Page 34

Covington teachers face many challenges posed by the school’s demographics. Poverty levels are high. In a community that has experienced dramatic economic changes in recent years, a large number of students deal with significant challenges before they enter the school building each day. The school’s staff understands this, and embraces it. More than half of Covington’s teachers are also alumni of the school. Many of the rest are parents of school students and alumni. Mr. Concus is part of the latter group, with a 17-year-old daughter currently attending the school. “This is hard work, but just look at the change that’s taking place in some of these kids. If one kid turns it around, that can change a whole generation of students,” said Mr. Concus. “We’re just kind of a blue-collar family. We really have a hard and tough task ahead of us. If you walk through the hallways, you recognize very quickly that demographics are not always conducive to learning. But it’s our job to make sure every kid learns.” This gets to a hallmark of Covington life: Pride. Students and teachers are happy to be there, Ms. Blackley said. And kids who are part of the school automatically have an extended network of support in the local community. “We do so much more than just make sure everyone has a diploma,” said Ms. Blackley. “There’s a lot of pride. Teachers accept zero excuses. That comes from what they expect of themselves.” 33 IF ONE KID TURNS IT AROUND, THAT CAN CHANGE A WHOLE GENERATION... -Cory Concus