St. Joseph Program Coordinator Ann Drummey has been tutoring since she was 14 years old.
“A guidance counselor asked me to tutor another student, and I was hooked,” Drummey said. “When I’m not teaching, I’m tutoring. Anyone can walk in and get help.”
Drummey, who is “one of JC’s treasures,” according to President Richard O’Hara, began teaching religion here in 1985. In 1990, the Enhance Program was initiated and Drummey was made program coordinator.
The Enhance Program, which is morphing into the St. Joseph Program this year, is a “support system to help with the transition into high school,” according to Drummey.
“Coming from a public school to a private school freshman year was a big transition,” one graduate of the Enhance Program said. “Mrs. Drummey made the process a lot easier and [more] comfortable than just being sent out there to figure it out all on your own.”
Freshmen in the program take a class called Success Skills, which is also open to freshmen who are not in the program but might benefit from the class. There will also be a Success Skills 2 course for sophomores next year. The classes cover a variety of skills and lessons meant to ease the stress of high school.
“No two years have every been the same,” Drummey said. “I’m trying to tailor the program to the needs of the students in the program.”
“She would sit you down every day and look at your grades with you, [and] then talk to you about what you need to do in order to be successful in school,” another graduate from the Enhance Program said.
Drummey works with guidance counselor Carol Heflin and psychology teacher Paul Lazor to run the program. Heflin maps out students’ four-year schedules in order to make sure they can accommodate the Success Skills class, and Lazor helps with admissions and some of the class content.
“[Drummey] does a fantastic job,” Lazor said. “She’s very compassionate. It’s been very interesting for me to watch how she interacts with the kids.”
Currently in her thirtieth year of teaching at JC, Drummey has seen some major changes in the school community, including the introduction of the tablet computers and a variety of other technological advances.
“I have been trying to change as the curriculum here and the technology has changed,” Drummey said.
According to Drummey, her students teach her as much as she teaches them. They need to explain how to do their assignments, and then she is able to keep them on track and advise them.
“With the right tools and skills, every student can succeed,” Drummey said.
Kathy Deaver is Online Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com