Student Perspectives: Thunderbolt Academy
Camelot Education’s Thunderbold Academy in Millville, New Jersey opened in September; see student Adriona Huffstickler’s take on her first two months of school:
When I first walked in through those green doors I already had my mind made up that this was NOT the school for me. Taking my shoes off??? Giving up my possessions? Walking through a metal detector? Everything felt dehumanizing. My first day was completely cataclysmic!!! However, now (less than 2 months into school) I absolutely love it here! The Academy gives students many opportunities that we didn’t have at our other schools. In this article I will show you why Thunderbolt Academy is the perfect place to grow into the person you are supposed to be…
Here at Thunderbolt Academy the students are just as significant as the staff. Just like staff can enforce the norms to the students, the students can also enforce the norms to the staff. “No one is above confrontation.” The main reason most of us are at the Academy is because we don’t like to be confronted. Well here you learn to accept confrontation rather than lashing out and doing something to get yourself in trouble.
Another big problem in “regular” school was students getting suspended and missing class, losing credits to move on to the next level of our schooling. At the Thunderbolt Academy there is no such thing as suspension, detention, or ACI. But don’t think we get away with being disruptive or insubordinate. Here we have ratings (“needs improvement”, “neutral” or “positive”). If we get a positive rating for three weeks in a row we can become a member of the BOLT club (student government) and earn more privileges. So being a “needs improvement” isn’t what we really want.
Some students don’t want to come here because they play sports. We may not have official teams, however, we DO get to “ball up” with Cunningham Academy in Vineland. We go to them and sometimes they come to us. We also go on fun trips such as Dave and Busters (for members of student government) AND Cumberland Community College. These trips are both fun and informative.
To conclude, Thunderbolt Academy is an amazing opportunity to grow as a person. Keep an open mind, and don’t think everyone is out to get you because at the end of the day, Mr. Dickerson, Mr.Payne, Ms. Barnes and all of the other staff are here to help. Not only do the staff want us to succeed, they want us to excel.