I have two daughters and when my oldest daughter entered middle school, I started thinking about where I’d send my kids to high school. The thought of them having to change schools pretty soon worried me. My daughters have always gone to great schools and, at the time, there was only one good high school where I live in San Jose- San Jose Collegiate. However, there were three KIPP middle schools in that same area- KIPP Heritage, KIPP Prize, and KIPP Heartwood. So, when my eldest was in 7th grade, a group of parents and school leaders came together and discussed how that one high school could not serve the students from all 3 middle schools. We decided that we would fight to open another high school. Although I knew my daughter wouldn’t start high school for another year, I fought for this cause because I knew she needed great options for the future.
But this story is about more than just my journey in fighting for great schools, it’s about the people who fought alongside me. Specifically, I want to uplift Ms. Verrochi. I feel like it’s about time I recognize her bravery and her fight because she stood with us parents during the entire journey to make this new school a reality. There was even a time when she had a broken ankle and had to use crutches and a boot. Despite these limitations, she was with us during the long nights and various trips up to Sacramento. Our fight to open another high school wasn’t easy, it lasted months and we visited various board meetings to make it happen. Ever since this experience, Ms. Verrochi has continued to be great with parents and has done so much for our students during the pandemic.
Ms. Verrochi, thank you for keeping your word and your promise of opening KIPP Navigate. After so many obstacles, we have our first graduating class this year! Congratulations to KIPP Navigate’s Class of 2022 and to Ms. Verrochi, who is graduating with them and moving to the next stage of her career! Our students are leaving to pursue their dreams and you’re leaving to explore other opportunities and adventures. I know that wherever you go, you’ll be amazing and you’ll always have a special place in the hearts of our families. With your guidance, so much has been accomplished! Thank you for everything you’ve done to make KIPP Navigate possible because it’s more than just a school, it’s a safe home for kids and families 💐
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