William Hetz has enjoyed a lifetime of academic rigor as a scholar attending private schools in Massachusetts. Looking for an opportunity to use his leadership skills, creativity, and to explore his post-high school options, William’s parents looked to their home state of AZ and found The Jones-Gordon School. Now a Senior, William is thriving in the supportive environment while he takes high school and college classes and researches his next rite of passage following graduation.
Q: What brought you to The Jones-Gordon School?
A. My previous school—a typical private preparatory school—was too rigid in its educational foundation. What I’d initially found to be a somewhat prosperous environment for me grew, by my Junior year, to be a suffocating one. Noticing before even I did that my previous school did not suit me, my parents sought out alternative academic opportunities. So, seeing how personalized The Jones-Gordon School is in its educational approach, we decided in early Summer 2016 to give this place a shot.
Q: How is it working out?
A. This place is better than I’d hoped. As opposed to the day-to-day grind that I experienced at my old school, I have the opportunity to benefit from a more dynamic and, overall, more human atmosphere here. I feel like I’m learning instead of just cramming.
Q: Tell me about a time you found yourself actually learning instead of just cramming at JGS?
A. I’m able to learn here because I found my reason for learning instead of letting others tell me my reason for learning. I’m able to work well here because I make myself want to work well, and if I don’t, then I don’t. It’s as simple as that. This routine starkly contrasts my old school in that it was all very rigid. JGS is more fluid, more human. It’s dynamic and flexible. I’m not forced to march to a steady beat. I can make my own tempo.
Q: And that works for you?
A. Yeah. Here, I don’t need to slow down if I’m working quickly, nor do I need to speed up if I’m working slowly. I have a Pacing Guide, but I need not strictly adhere to it. It’s simply for my benefit. As long as work is being done, I needn’t worry about educational authorities hounding me to meet their arbitrary deadlines. I far more enjoy the freedom to work at a natural pace, whether that be industriously productive on some days or a bit more lackadaisically on off days.
Q: What have you done to make yourself at home at JGS?
A. I have far more freedom in my actions than I did at my old school. I picked my courses. I pick, within reason, where I get to work during all of my classes. I’ve practically staked a claim on a corner of the school that’s become somewhat of a small office. I have more opportunities for natural growth. I’ve become a peer tutor. I run a small snack bar to raise money for our new athletics program. I’ve also joined Student Government and do my best to offer assistance to the other children—whether it be socially or academically—as a Senior officer.
Q: You’re a senior this year. Any plans for next year and beyond?
A. I don’t have plans for after high school yet. I call myself an authentic learner, because scores of people have agreed it’s true. Whatever I do next year, I’m going to do it well.