Last Chance High School: A Principal’s Crusade to Rescue Throwaway Teens is a principal’s personal journey to transform a school for troubled teens from failure to success, where students earned high school diplomas and moved to more inclusive learning environments. He encountered aggressive behaviors, fighting, teacher frustrations and a mindset limited to “getting through the day.” Yet, he was able to instill a new vision, one where students’ needs for success, choices, relevance and fun are primary, and punishment and deterrents are de-emphasized.
The book describes how this vision was successfully translated into practice and how caring and creative teachers adapted the philosophy into their daily lessons. Students’ voices are heard as well, as they share their frustrations and ideas for improvement and begin to take ownership for their own success.
The stories are humorous, touching, sad, and provocative.
Kirkus Book Review:
“An instructive, inspirational debut memoir that recounts a teacher’s lifelong efforts to educate troubled students.. …The personal stories are clear and compelling, and the advice on how to improve the educational outcomes of at-risk youth is courageous and profound… An engaging look at the values that represent the best chance for the future of education in America.”