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News >  K-12 education

Mountain View High School: Jadin Isbell made the best of a second chance

Jadin Isbell is graduating from Mountain View Alternative High School after just three years with a combination of traditional and online coursework.  (Courtesy)
Jadin Isbell is graduating from Mountain View Alternative High School after just three years with a combination of traditional and online coursework. (Courtesy)
By Joe Everson For The Spokesman-Review

Three years ago, Jadin Isbell hit the jackpot when she was accepted for direct entry from eighth grade into Mountain View Alternative High School in Rathdrum.

Most ninth-graders at Mountain View begin their freshman year at other schools and make the move for a variety of reasons. But a select few make their home there from the beginning, and in Jadin’s words, she was one of the lucky ones.

She had repeated eighth grade after a lackluster performance her first time, and said that she started to consider Mountain View halfway through the second time around. Her older sister and brother both attended the school and she had some friends already enrolled there.

“I was upset when I learned that I was going to repeat eighth grade,” Jadin said, “but my stepmom and grandma helped me through it. It turned out to be really helpful, because I learned a lot, and I made a big attitude adjustment during that year.”

It has been such a successful experience, in fact, that Jadin is graduating a full year early, after only three years of high school. She has accomplished that with a combination of traditional and online coursework, something that Mountain View’s flexible academic program makes possible.

“I started thinking about graduating early during 10th grade, and Ms. Aiken (Kelli, Mountain View’s counselor) told me that it was possible if I took more courses than were periods in the day. The online program really worked for me.

“It also helped a lot that my dad and I worked out some personal issues. He’s been more willing to talk with me when there are issues that we needed to address, and I wasn’t getting in trouble as much. My attitude really changed.”

Jadin credits Aiken and Mountain View principal Paul Uzzi fowr much of her success there. She has worked especially closely with Aiken in the Sources of Strength program, serving as a peer facilitator and working to foster strong relationships between students and trusted adults at school.

“Jadin has been instrumental in helping to create a family atmosphere at Mountain View,” Aiken said. “She is super-organized and a great planner. She is kind, caring, and outgoing, and helpful to everyone, doing whatever it takes to help others.”

Government and drama have been her favorite courses, but she admits to having no idea what she’s going to do next fall.

“I think that’s because I never really saw myself graduating,” she said. “I just didn’t have my head in the right place until Mr. Uzzi and Ms. Aiken helped me to open my eyes. It feels super-weird not to know what’s coming next, but everybody here encouraged me to realize that I can go somewhere and do something.”

She’s interested in interior design and is a big HGTV fan. She also dog-sits every night for a family friend.

So how does she summarize her high school years?

“My mindset has changed since I started here,” she said. “Now I see myself being successful no matter what I’m doing. I’m way more positive about myself. I stay focused, show up every day, and try my best.”

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