Standout Student: ECA’s Stephanie Otero
This week’s Standout Student attends a school you may not know about. Brooklyn Center’s Early College Academy allows students a chance to succeed in smaller classrooms.
Stephanie Otero attends the Early College Academy, an alternative high school in Brooklyn Center.
“Stephanie hit the ground running,” said Josiah Moore, a teacher at ECA. “[She] started doing A’s and B’s right away when she came here.”
Stephanie transferred from Brooklyn Center High School to ECA, where teachers say she has blossomed.
“A large high school just wasn’t a good fit for her,” said Becky Koltes, who also teaches at ECA.
Stephanie believes ECA is the perfect spot for her. She likes the school’s intimate setting and hands-on approach.
“I actually do recommend here because they give you more attention,”Stephanie said. “They help you more. They give you more opportunities.”
But ECA isn’t her only school.Stephanie is also in a program that lets her earn credit at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Stephanie also finds time to play soccer and other extracurricular activities.
“She’s become extremely independent and reliable, which is saying a lot for a 10th grader with everything that she’s doing and taking on,” said Koltes.
Her teachers say taking classes at MCTC has boosted her confidence.
“I definitely see Stephanie as having the skills to thrive in the real world,” Moore said. “Every report I get about her at the college class says she’s doing magnificent.”
“I’m actually taking a reading 180,” Stephanie said. “It’s like a reading normal class, just that they give me a heads up on what I have to do for my future.”
The soft-spoken student is well liked by her teachers. Moore taught Stephanie until she started taking college courses.
“It’s really sad for me that Stephanie is not in my class anymore,” Moore said.
“She’s not one to brag about herself or be super boisterous about what she’s doing,” Koltes said. “She’s quietly confident and a fabulous leader.”
ECA has an enrollment of 75 students and nine of them are taking college courses.