Not everything in the world of Colorado K-12 education is a serious statement about policy. Sometimes the more compelling story comes in the heat of a dramatic moment, when more is at stake than grades on a test. The Colorado Springs Gazette’s Matt Steiner reports on a high school freshman who, when confronted with a potentially life-threatening situation, (literally) charged forward and took the wheel:
[Jeremy] Rice, 14, remembered noticing the bus driver reach down for a garbage pail that had been knocked over by a student. While the bus was in motion, the driver attempted to right himself in his seat and make sure his safety belt was secure. Then, the driver tumbled to the right and down into the bus’s stairwell, Rice said.
From eight rows back, Jeremy raced into action. With some instruction from the bus driver, he was able to steer the large vehicle, and the students on board, to safety.
What makes the story even a little more interesting from this education observer’s low perch is the nearly unique school that Jeremy attends: Colorado Springs Early Colleges (CSEC). The tuition-free public charter school housed on the campus of Colorado Technical University enables students to forge ahead with dual-enrollment college credit while earning a high school diploma.
Quoted in the Gazette story, school administrator Keith King (also a retiring state senator) tied together the young man’s heroic actions with the spirit CSEC seeks to instill, noting, “This is a school about giving kids opportunities and the chance to accelerate their abilities. And that’s what Jeremy did today. It’s exciting to see kids do great things.”
Before, when talking about his school, CSEC administrator Keith King’s face has regularly beamed with pride to tell the story of Jenna Rock — who earned a four-year degree in electrical engineering while graduating from Colorado Springs Early Colleges. Sure, it’s a different kind of amazing story, but now King has another “J. R.” student to brag about.