Christopher Seretti: Community School graduate and future welder

Christopher Seretti: Community School graduate and future welder
Posted on 01/25/2021
Christopher Seretti: Community School graduate and future welderBy Kadey Heidrich
Pasadena ISD Communications

Recent Community School graduate Christopher Seretti wanted to earn his diploma on time, but struggled while attending his traditional high school campus. After falling behind, Seretti decided to research other ways to complete his education. During his research, he learned about the programs available at Community School. 

Community School is a high school of choice in Pasadena ISD that empowers students to reach their full potential by providing self-paced classes in a blended environment. Community School, fondly referred to as the district’s hidden gem by its staff members, gives students at risk of not graduating from high school another chance to earn their high school diploma. The small school prides itself on providing a personalized experience for each student, calling this personalization their “hidden curriculum.” 

Seretti talks about why he chose Community School and what his experiences were like with the program. 

Q: What led you to choose Community School?

A: I was really struggling at my old school. Before I came to Community School, I was still classified as a sophomore based on my credits and I’m 18.  I have a health condition, so in the past, I have been in and out of school. 

Ms. Elliot, the assistant principal at Community School, has helped me a lot. When I spoke with her,  she told me about the program there and that I could graduate on time. I thought that sounded great because I wanted to start my career. Also, I thought it was better to have a high school diploma rather than a GED. 

Q: What have your experiences at Community School been like?

A: My start at Community School was slow, but once I got used to the students, staff and teachers, it was good. The teachers and staff helped me by keeping me focused and on task. To help me stay motivated, they reminded me that one day I’ll achieve something great. 

Some of my favorite teachers were Ms. Slatterly, Ms. White and Ms. Walker. They encouraged me to keep my goals in mind. Another teacher I liked was Mr. Perkins. He had an interesting style of teaching, he’s funny but also business-minded. He engaged with students and tried to form connections with them, many of the teachers here did that. 

Q: Do you think Community School changed your perspectives on what school could be like?

A: Yes, it was different. The staff are more involved here, I feel like each of them has worked to get to know me personally. It feels like a family at Community School. 

I just loved it here, it was a great experience. I felt like I made friends with other students and became close with the staff as well. 

Q: Would you recommend Community School to others?

A: 100%. 100%. At Community School, you get to work at your own pace and the teachers encourage you to challenge yourself to work faster. I refer a lot of my friends to this program. 

I think without Community School, I wouldn’t have graduated yet. 

Q: What do you want to do now that you have earned your high school diploma? 

A: I want to become a welder. My cousin has helped me learn more about that career and I think it is a good choice. Right now, I have a part time job and soon, I hope to begin working full time as an independent commercial welder. 

Seretti began attending Community School in the fall of 2020 and graduated on January 15, 2021. 

Seretti poses with Community School assistant principal, Randi Elliot.