All-GTNS: Ellen Peters
ELDON — Ellen Peters is giving her education at Cardinal Community School District an A-.
"One thing I will commend my school on is making students get their work done," Peters said.
She explained Cardinal started a "ketchup" program that requires all students with missing assignments to report to the ketchup room during advisory time to finish the work; and, if still not complete, attend school on Saturday.
"This program has improved the performance of the students, and will continue helping [them] for years to come," she said.
Peters believes a major strength of today's educational system is the staff.
"I believe schools hire what they believe to be the best possible teachers," she said. "These teachers encourage students in everything they do and push them to succeed in class."
On the other side of the scale, Peters sees the demands on teachers as a weakness because it prevents them from meeting the individual needs of each student.
Peters credits science teacher and volleyball coach Jerald Harter as the teacher who shaped her high school experience.
"He will always be a person I can turn to if I have questions," said Peters. "If I had not taken chemistry and advanced chemistry with Mr. Harter, I honestly don't think I would be pursuing a career in pharmacy.
"My first chemistry class during my sophomore year made me decide to become a pharmacist," she continued. "I will always believe it was the way he taught me this subject which made me want to pursue this career. I know there will be days while I am in college where I will have problems, but Mr. Harter has prepared me to the best of his ability. ... every class he teaches either prepares students for the next science class they take or their college career. ... I know that he will also be just a phone call or a visit away if I have any questions about my college classes."
Away from school, Peters sad her mother has had the most influence on her life.
"She always pushes me to be the best I can be," said Peters. "I know I can always go to her if I have any problems, and she has always been there to encourage me. She has persevered through many difficult times herself, and I turn to her whenever I face a difficult time."
Peters can't even begin to compare herself as a freshman to a senior.
"So many things have changed," she said. "My freshman year, I would have been terrified to get up in front of a large group of people and speak, but now I lead all of the pep assemblies. I feel my attitude has changed so much as well. My freshman year, I would have tried to please everyone, and now I do things that are right for me."
Peters is advising incoming freshmen with the same advice she received: "Just be yourself."
"I feel like all high school and even middle school students need to live by this advice," she said. "You think the most important thing is to fit in, but if people can't accept you for who you really are, then they don't need to be your friend."