Rise Up: The Pathway To Success

A student talking to their counselor about rising up a level in a subject.

This year, Wilde Lake is pioneering a new program that is encouraging students to rise up a level in at least one subject, to help them achieve their full potential. 

Wilde Lake principal, Marcy Leonard, has been the driving force encouraging students to rise up. In her previous position as principal of Hammond High School, she promoted the same program. During her tenure there, Hammond produced the largest number of Ivy League graduates in the state.

“What we find is that students who take more challenging courses have the access to the critical thinking skills, the critical writing skills, and the critical reading skills that will help them meet success at whatever they want to do after they leave Wilde Lake, whether it’s college, trade or technical school, the military or a high wage job,” Ms. Leonard said.

 The program is designed around the principle that taking higher-level classes in high school will enable students to gain the skills necessary to take on difficult tasks in the future. Ms. Volpe, a U.S. History teacher at Wilde Lake, said, “I think students should challenge themselves no matter what. Whatever life plans you have, you will have to face challenges, and hard classes can prepare you for the difficulties you face both in future education and in life.” 

The Rise Up program isn’t designed to move students up in all of their classes. Instead, they’re encouraged to choose a subject they’re passionate about and willing to work harder in. “In high school, I didn’t have the same skill set in math and English,” English teacher Ms. Kostelec said. “So, I didn’t move up in math, but I felt happier because I put more time and energy towards English, the subject I had an aptitude for.” 

Although moving up a level can seem daunting, many students are willing to give it a shot in one class. Wilde Lake freshman, Farshad Mobasheri said, “A lot of my teachers told me I should rise up a level in at least one subject next year, and I felt like I should take English honors because this year I took regular English and it was easy for me.”

Ultimately, teachers hope that students will challenge themselves and rise up a level, because they want to see students become successful and always try their hardest.