Portland, November 7th, 2013. “Some kids have learning differences. All kids have Dreams.” That belief brought over 350 guests to the Oregon Zoo’s Cascade Crest Banquet Center for the “Partner with Thomas Edison” breakfast. The breakfast raised over $110,000 in revenue to support financial aid, technology, and professional development at the school. Supporters loved visiting with students like Jaylynn Bernhardt, Darby Bowers, Zariah Lowe and Nicole Strain. Zariah Lowe and Chris Gettel-Gilmartin were featured student speakers. Guests also heard from former student Sarah Hall ‘98, as well as current parent Kevin Troupe, about the importance of Thomas Edison High School. (photo credit, Andie Petkus Photography)

Edison students Donny Engeldinger, Clay Rydick, and Kinley Bassham wake up early to greet guests.

Edison students Donny Engeldinger, Clay Rydick, and Kinley Bassham wake up early to greet guests.

Edison board member Michael Sandoval, Edison teacher Bridget Connolly, and Edison friend James Parker

Edison board member Michael Sandoval, Edison teacher Bridget Connolly, and Edison friend James Parker

Edison parents Wendell Talley and Greg Roderick

Edison parents Wendell Talley and Greg Roderick

Director Patrick Maguire with Sally Klein, Edison parent Tracy Klein, and Lucien Klein

Director Patrick Maguire with Sally Klein, Edison parent Tracy Klein, and Lucien Klein

From  Thomas Edison High School

Thomas Edison High School, founded in 1973, is the only high school in Oregon and SW Washington that is specifically dedicated to serving high school students with learning differences. Our work at Edison is powerful and profound: helping every student reach his or her full potential. Edison offers an individualized curriculum that meets each student’s special needs, and maximizes the ability to learn. We also provide the emotional support that builds confidence and maturity. By empowering students with learning differences to experience academic success and personal growth, Edison does more than prepare teens for the future. We change lives.

Our school was founded in 1973 as the Tree of Learning. For 17 years, students were taught in portable classrooms on the Jesuit High School campus. In 1992, we moved into a brand new building of our own, changing our name to honor Thomas Alva Edison.

As a dyslexic, Edison struggled greatly in school, where he was considered a mischief-maker and a problem child. His mind often wandered in class, he talked when he was supposed to be listening, and he paid little attention to detail. The schoolmaster called young Edison “addle brained” and considered him such a poor student that he advised Edison’s mother to take him out of school altogether, “for he would never make a scholar.”

Of course, Edison proved everyone wrong. And while not every child with learning differences will achieve such notability as an adult, the example of Thomas Edison’s achievements serves as our daily inspiration. Just as Edison transformed the way we live, Thomas A. Edison High School works to transform the lives of our students.

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