AOS has been one of the most future-changing places I’ve come across. I went from maybe three complete credits to having almost a 4.0 GPA. Here at AOS you actually have a chance at high school. You have the option to go far and do great things.
Here, the teachers give you a voice. You can ask a million questions in a row and have each and every one answered without the attitude or frustration of a teacher at a bigger school. On that note, the teachers are easy to get along with and they make sure you can take care of yourself and succeed. They don’t make you feel like you’re just another ordinary student, they make you feel like an individual. You aren’t labeled as the junior class, or sophomore class, or freshmen class, you’re you.
I’ve noticed that people, such as myself, who have an anxiety disorder can strive and make friends here. There isn’t the usual high school drama, or kids who say “oh, I don’t like this person or that person.” Everyone can get along. It feels like you’re part of a family. I was extremely anxious to start at a new school but after a week of being in the high school program I made a ton of friends. I’m comfortable dressing the way I want, or acting the way I want.
I appreciate the staff most of all. The office ladies are always so happy and welcome everyone who comes in. They almost always have a smile painted on their face, and the great thing is, they’re real. They don’t say hi to everyone who comes in because it’s part of their job, they do it because they love the students and people here. They’re always more than happy to talk with the lonelier or quieter students,
All of the teachers care about their students. If they notice a kid slipping behind they tell that student and they try to motivate them and help them with any of the extra help they need to get their grades back up. The teachers actually notice every student, they notice if you’re feeling down. They recognize where you’re improving and where you need help, and they don’t put you down or make you feel bad for needing the help.
AOS truly is a big family. We all help each other and can get along. We’re heard, we’re not labeled as a ‘bad kid’ or the ‘dumb kid.’ We were all given the second chance we needed. We’re given the help we all need. We’re all given a place to succeed and make really good friends.
I speak for every student at AOS when I say thank you to everyone here. Thank you for giving me, and the rest of us, the chance we needed to graduate. Thank you for pushing us the respectful way we needed. I can happily say I’m going to be able to graduate on time only because of AOS. I’m glad I got on the list for AOS and I’m glad I was given the choice to come.
AOS has changed my life and has made me actually want to go to school. AOS has given me the option to have a successful high school career, and it gave me a place to start thinking of my future in a positive way. Thank you so much AOS for making me see that kids like me really can go far and succeed when I felt like I never would be able to.
Annaliese Papesh-Schmidt is a Junior at Albany Options School. She has earn multiple academic awards and landed herself on the Honor Roll. She is exploring careers in journalism and art.