To the editor:

When I observe East Noble High School on a typical school day, I see 1,200-plus students traversing the hallways seeking the smorgasbord of opportunities provided for them.

The students of 2019 no longer dwell in the one-size-fits-all educational environment that existed for most of this profession's history. Instead, students with guidance from parents, counselors and teachers can custom fit their schedule to meet their educational needs. Opportunities at East Noble are abundant. Besides the core classes offered (English, math, science, social studies), students can expand the breadth of their study by delving into a myriad of other required and elective classes.

If students are pursuing the goal of attending a college or university, they can earn college credits from Purdue Fort Wayne, Trine University and Ivy Tech. East Noble offers no fewer than 11 Advanced Placement classes (potential dual college credit) for those seeking to better prepare themselves for the next academic step.

Students, who are seeking a college degree or certification, can turn their eyes towards the Impact Institute which offers the following: auto body collision repair, automotive technology, Computer Aided Drafting, construction trades, cosmetology, criminal justice, culinary arts, Health Occupation Education, interactive media, marine mechanics, precision machining, primary healthcare, welding and internships.

For students who are home-bound/home-schooled, for those who wish to catch up on credits, or for those who wish to get ahead on their credits (or to graduate early), there are a growing number of online course offerings. This and all we do with regards to technology could not be accomplished if not for the forward-thinking administration. Eight years after the 1:1 program began, I still shake my head in wonder with regards to the level of top-notch technology the teachers use to instruct, and the students use in learning. I cannot imagine that there is a corporation around that has a more dedicated, knowledgeable tech staff.

East Noble also teaches the value of empathy, of giving, of kindness. The special education program, Unified Knights, the Riley Hospital fundraiser, Light the Knight Walk, Boomerang Backpack program Basket Brigade, Christmas Bureau all promote the values of selflessness.

As I walk the corridors of ENHS after the day’s last bell has rung, I see students not only heading toward extra-curricular activities (from football to academic Superbowl), but also heading to classrooms to seek additional help from dedicated teachers.

There is an intricate machinery that helps create this educational environment at EN. It is comprised of K-12 teachers, counselors, resource officers, building and central office administrators, school board members as well as a series of other staff members (secretaries, teacher assistants, maintenance and custodial personnel, cooks, bus drivers, etc.).

So, my initial reaction concerning the Ball State University study (posted in the June 11 edition of The News Sun — front page, above the fold) was to sigh and shrug my shoulders. In my 40 years of teaching, I have come to accept that suffering the slings and arrows of the press, community members, and now a BSU study was part and parcel of those who are in education. Of course, data is data and stats are stats … yada, yada, yada. I don’t doubt for a second that what BSU discovered through their process was done scientifically and without malice towards Noble County. However, (most likely by design) it was a macro approach. A closer look at ENHS will reveal a place filled with opportunity for any student who enters and with a dedicated, caring selfless staff willing and able to serve the needs of those who seek it.

Matt Rickey

East Noble High School

Kendallville

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