“We have to be different to accommodate the students that the main high schools didn’t work for. Whether it’s their struggle at home with relationships, the main schools did not work out one way or another, money, transportation, relationships with peers, we have to be different and accommodate them and their needs. Every student has their own story and their own path.
“Sometimes you just get students that you just can’t help, and it hurts as an educator because you want to be the one who makes a difference in their life. They come into our classrooms with numerous chips on their shoulder and no matter how much you help them, you provide for them, they’re still angry. And the hardest part is it’s not you. It’s either their life, the system has set them wrong, or a lot of times it’s mom or dad, or the lack of mom or dad. I can’t tell you how many students we have that are couch surfing.
“A lot of the electives – the arts, the business, the marketing, the welding, the wood shops, the auto – a lot of times kids find their home in those areas. And I truly believe if we can educate the kids, connect them with something that they’re passionate about and they find their niche, they can escape their cycle of poverty. They can succeed. They can then go on, have a healthy and amazing life.
“I’m fortunate to work at Dishman Hills High School. The Administration and staff are so supportive of us [educators], we are truly blessed for that. I’ve slowly learned just how much the West Valley School District Community really supports and believes in our students. They truly do care for all of our kids and that is what makes the difference.” – Matt Filippini, Teacher at Dishman Hills High School