Not everyone learns the same way, so a typical high school education simply cannot benefit all students. This is where the Academy of Creative Learning, or Ace, comes into play. This specialized NEISD high school is designed specifically for those students, from the ages of 16 to 21, who are at the risk of dropping out or just aren’t made for the usual high school experience.
“Ace is a program in which students can find a more flexible schedule for their education” counselor Snider said. “If students must join the workforce, for whatever reason, ACE is an option that can be chosen so that they can graduate high school, on a schedule that works on an individual basis.”
This is a viable option available, and has appealed to several students here at Johnson.
“I didn’t like the traditional high school programs or how they’re taught, it didn’t make sense,” Former Johnson student Lana Tucker said, “It always felt, to me at least, that a lot of what we did was either unnecessary or simply done only because it’s something that someone else said we ‘had’ to do, I never appreciated that, it didn’t add up to me, at ACE I can work and go to school…Plus it covers what we actually need, no busy work, no fillers, just what we need to learn to graduate, it works better for me…”
ACE is a program designed for at risk students, to help ensure an education, and opposes the all too common, dropping out. Since the opening of ACE in 1991, over 3,400 students have graduated, exemplifying the school motto, “Lighting the way.”
“I might have dropped out…,” former Johnson student Jacob Montoya said, “I hated how things were done at times, and the regular system just didn’t work for me…here [at ACE] I get done what I have to, and I’m not concerned or burdened with extra stuff I really don’t need, it’s efficient, and works, especially for me.”
Does going to ACE, limit future options such as further schooling? Alongside programs such as ACE, comes a certain image and plenty of assumptions.
“ACE is a program for students who are looking to go into the workforce or make it through high school, this of course does not take away the option of future school, for any student,” assistant principal Miranda Shore said.
“People assume constantly that me going to ACE was a bad decision, but it’s a good school and I’m actually learning and doing better” Jacob Montoya said, “I get my work finished, I show up, I don’t dread it and above all I really do learn, and that’s what should matter, I’m not sure about what I’m going to do after high school, but I am sure that me coming to ACE won’t limit it.”