Student Success Story: Gary Pierre

on Wednesday, 07 June 2017. Posted in Success Stories

Even Without Classroom, Online High School Students Have Support of Faculty

Student Success Story: Gary Pierre

When taking classes online to complete high school, you might think that you’d lose the attention you get from your teachers at a traditional high school. But at James Madison High School, you’d be wrong!

Despite offering classes that are 100% online, JMHS has dedicated faculty members that are willing to answer any question. Don’t believe us? Just ask student Gary Pierre, who had plenty to say about his experience with JMHS and its faculty.

“Even if you are doing online high school, you still want to have contact with your teachers,” said Pierre, who originally hails from Haiti. “In my experience, JMHS has amazing teachers that are happy to answer your questions.”

One teacher in particular was singled out by Pierre as a big help in his studies. According to Pierre, Bryan Carver, lead science teacher at JMHS, was there to answer questions whenever Pierre needed help with his Biology class.

“Mr. Carver was very helpful and reliable,” he said. “Having that comfort whenever I would get stuck really helped. I wish all my courses were Biology so I could be in contact with Mr. Carver more.”

It turns out, no longer being in Mr. Carver’s course didn’t stop Pierre from reaching out for advice. He would even email Carver about unrelated topics.

“Any time I emailed Mr. Carver, he would answer. Sometimes I would send three emails a day and he would always respond, and seemed happy to do so. I still ask him questions even though they have nothing to do with Biology,” he said.

Carver was one of the first teachers to join the JMHS team, and has over 15 years of teaching experience in both traditional and online schools with subjects including biology, chemistry, computers, health, marine science, earth science and physical science. He has been nominated twice for Who’s Who Among Teachers.

When asked why it’s important for him to engage with his students, Carver said, “As a teacher, it’s my number one goal to help students be successful. Especially with the online format, it’s important to let your students know that they are not alone in the online environment.”

Carver also shared how he handles being a professor at an online school.

“Since our particular program is self-paced, I try to be available to students morning, noon and night. Our students don’t follow a traditional schedule so I make sure that I spread my time out. I try to meet our students on their schedule, even if it means checking in over the weekend.”

Professor Carver also had some advice for anyone considering studying online with JMHS “Be aware of the personal commitment online learning takes,” he said. “Our flexible model allows you to move at your own pace, but it is still a commitment of time to complete the work. You can still work a 40-hour-a-week job and complete the program, but know that it does take time.

“And also, follow Gary’s lead and be your own advocate! Don’t be afraid to reach out to your teacher. When you get stuck, always know that someone is there to help.”

Pierre called the opportunity to study at JMHS “a gift” that has helped him pursue his dreams.

“JMHS was a good choice for me,” he said. “When you’re in America on a tourist visa like I am, you’re not allowed to go to traditional high school. JMHS turned out to be a great fit because it gives me an accredited education here in America. I travel a lot so I need to be able to study anywhere, and learning online gave me that flexibility.”

Pierre will graduate this spring and has aspirations to continue his education in college next year. He hopes to one day become a doctor.

If you’re curious about going back to school to earn your high school diploma online, take a look at how the James Madison High School process works, and see if it’s a good fit for you!