… because this future Eph will be watching. I like this kid, she’s got some brass. Williams can always use more students who are willing to stir things up … the highlights:

Emily Perry is the valedictorian, an athlete, a peer tutor and the head of the Science Olympiad. She is also the center of controversy in the wake of her speech before a group of Classical High School alumni.

In her April 30 address at the school’s alumni association dinner, Perry did the unthinkable: she criticized the teaching at Classical, the only Providence high school that routinely sends graduates to elite colleges, the only school where students must pass an examination for admission.

“While we have several teachers who truly care and are good at their jobs,” Perry said, “there are far too many who operate on cruise control. As a teacher who was recently laid off from the science department said, many teachers want to come to Classical, not for the challenge of teaching exceptional students, but for the relief provided by a relative dearth of behavioral problems.

“This is not as difficult as it sounds,” she said in her speech. “Many of the best teachers can easily be recognized. They are the ones who are here before and after school … To improve the school and make Classical truly great, the administration needs to demand more from the teachers and the teachers, in turn, demand more from and deliver more to their pupils.”

Perry, who plans on majoring in bio-geology at Williams College, tempered her criticism by saying that the student body as a whole works hard and deserves recognition. She also pointed out that many of the school’s challenges stem from chronic funding shortages and a system that rewards seniority at the expense of youthful talent.

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