An Interview with Madison Ott

September 4, 2015 12:41PM

Madison Ott is a high school freshman attending King’s Academy in Seymour, Tennessee, just outside Knoxville. Earlier this year, Madison won a competitive scholarship from Beacon to attend a private school of her family’s choice. Beacon checked in with Madison recently to see how the start of high school was going for her.

Why did you choose King’s Academy?

I choose The King’s Academy because I had previously attended the academy and everyone was very good to me there. Teachers, faculty, and students are supportive and like a family.

Is it living up to your expectations so far?

Yes, TKA is definitely living up to my expectations. The Academy is like a second home to me.

What is your favorite part about your new school?

The smaller class sizes are my favorite part. They allow more one-on-one interaction with my teachers, which has helped me maintain straight A’s so far this semester, even though my schedule is very tough. I am currently taking Honors Geometry, Honors English I, Honors Biology I, Spanish II, Computer Lit, Choir, and Basic Christian Beliefs.

Why do you like your school better than your previous school?

I felt like just a student in my old school. In TKA I feel like part of a family, where everyone is invested in my future. No one falls through the cracks or is overlooked there. I am continuously pushed to reach my potential.

Do you think you would be better or worse off if you did not have this scholarship?

Yes, I believe I would be worse off without this scholarship! Without the support of this “family” environment, I feel I may have succumbed to the pressure of my heavy workload this year and not lived up to my potential as a student and a person.

Do you think others deserve the same school choice you have benefitted from, and if so why?

I strongly believe others should have the same opportunity to find a school that fits their learning style! There could be a child out there with the potential to become someone great, but due to them not having this choice to find the best learning environment for them to flourish, they fell through the crack in the system and the potential is wasted. That hurts the child and society.

What one thing would you say to legislators who are deciding whether to give more families like yours choice in education?

Giving families a choice in their education is really the only option. Moving into this environment has been such an uplifting experience for me. The support I have received has helped me become more confident in myself, which I have struggled with in school, athletics, and life. Please do not put everyone in a box, and potentially lose something great for society by not allowing each child to flourish however they see fit. A family will know better what is best for their child than a stranger in an office that has never met them. Please do the right thing!