What a great way to start the 2017-18 year: A letter from a parent of a recent New Tech graduate.I wanted to share with you my sincere appreciation for the program, teachers, and supporting staff that provided my daughter with an incredible foundation for her future success.Our family moved to Pinckney in December of 2012. We made the decision to move to this small community for one reason: the New Tech Program. We had researched many high school programs for our daughter who required a challenging and well rounded program. We looked into charter schools, private schools, virtual schools, and public schools and in the end the New Tech program met ALL of our needs. Those needs included a challenging curriculum, social/life skills, and 21st century skills.Our daughter was apprehensive about moving and going to a new school where she knew no one and had no idea what “New Tech” was all about. However, we gently but firmly sent her to this new school and were completely amazed at the changes we saw in not only in her work but in her character. She went from a student who received excellent grades to a student who earned them.Throughout her time with the New Tech program she had a submersion in all subject areas. She navigated her way through the project based model where she learned to work with others and how to give and receive constructive criticism. Through her projects and the internship with Lowery, she learned the value of presentation and professionalism.At her graduation this past spring, we realized that she had made great strides and was successful in her high school career, after all, she was accepted to Michigan Technology University where she has begun studying electrical engineering. However, our experience during move in weekend is the reason for this letter. While picking up the few items we needed for her dorm room at the nearby store in Houghton, a local woman came up to us and asked Bailey if she was getting ready for school. This woman spent about five minutes talking with Bailey, asking about where she was from, what she planned to study, if she had friends going with her to school, etc. Bailey spoke to her as easily as she would a family member. Before the woman walked away she looked at me and said, “I have lived here all my life, I have seen many many students come here for school, and your daughter is ahead of all of them!” I was flattered and asked why. She responded that it was rare to have a student so articulate, one who actually looked people in the eye when speaking and not at their phone and that I had done a good job raising her. I was proud, but I realized that those who are part of the New Tech program deserve to be just as proud as well. So thank you for being the wonder people you are and affirming that we made the right choice to come to Pinckney. She would not be where she is without each and everyone of you, and the New Tech Program.Sincerely,Jessica SchmidtNew Tech Network Parent

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