I logged onto Facebook this morning to take a peak and see what my network of friends was up to. I noticed a friend had posted a link to a fascinating interview Chicago Public Radio did on Paige Ponder, someone I went to college with. I love Facebook for this reason exactly. Without it I would never have listened to this piece, and would not have heard about how Paige is helping ensure all of our kids are educated all the way through 12th grade. Paige is in charge of the Chicago School District’s Drop-out Prevention and Recovery program, aimed at fixing the high rate of high school drop-outs in Chicago, where only just over 50% of high school students actually graduate. She started out piloting a program that was so successful she was given an official position and now is in charge of making the drop-out rate go down. From the interview:
She’s now also in charge of a whole slew of programs CPS has rolled out to try to help 9th graders transition successfully. PONDER: I’m in different meetings now, it’s just a different sense of responsibility. Before I was the rogue leader of this little troupe here. And now I’m on the hook for these outcomes. So I have moments of sheer panic.
Paige is also the mommy to 2 beautiful boys — pretty much about the same ages as my boys. SO I know that she juggles a lot — and still has managed to find herself in a great career, making an incredible difference in the lives of our kids. Talk about no child left behind! Paige you inspire me!