Now’s your chance

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Remember a couple years ago when the Washoe County School District put the Truckee Meadows Community College High School on the chopping block? The community rose up and actually talked the school board out of eliminating one of the most successful school programs in the district.

At the time, you might have thought, “OK, I get the concept of a high school where students can earn college credit at the same time as they get their high school diploma, but what makes that school so cool that so many people would turn out to save it?”

You probably planned to keep your ears and eyes open, maybe with a thought toward helping the community resource or investigating the school in case one of your own children, grandchildren or friends’ children might be right for the school.

Well, now’s the time. Every year, the school has a day when graduating seniors present portfolios detailing their careers at the school. The audience, which is made up of professionals, retirees, local luminaries—anyone with an interest in education, young people or youth culture—rate the individual students on how they did in such categories as deportment, professionalism and creativity.

I’ve gone to Portfolio Day at TMCC High School several times. You never know what the next presenter is going to offer you as a symbol of their high school years—a guitar poem, a ceramic pot or a spiritual song. While I’ve occasionally been provoked by the students’ views of life, religion and politics, I’ve always had my faith in the fundamental goodness of young people reinforced.

At any rate, the school is scheduling citizens to participate in this experiment in education. Portfolio Day will be May 12. If you want to get a look at TMCC High School, today’s youth or just help out, call Susan Mayes at 674-7660 or e-mail <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> </script>. And yes, my girlfriend does teach up there, and no, she didn’t make me write this.