Barb (Dobler) Tucci ’84
When I enrolled at Charles Wright in seventh grade, I was NOT academically prepared. The curriculum, pace and depth of the material was very difficult. Although I enjoyed my school experience, I didn’t value it. During the economic crisis in the early 80s, my parents struggled financially. In the summer before my sophomore year, I volunteered to go to another high school to help minimize my parents' financial obligations. Selfishly, I also knew it would mean less work, better grades and a chance to see if I could play sports at a bigger school. But soon, the novelty wore off. I noticed the material was easier and the expectations of me were significantly lower than what I experienced at Charles Wright. In addition, I can honestly say I have never felt more invisible to my teachers in my life. When midterm grades came out, I got my first solid "B" in math. My mom and I must have stared at the “B” on that transcript for five minutes straight like it was something mythical. We both knew that for me to get a "B" in math or science there was something seriously wrong with the picture. From that day forward, I decided I wanted to be challenged and deserve the grades I earned. The next day, I drove myself back to Charles Wright. I remember a few teachers asking “Dobler, are you even enrolled here?” That day, I gambled that some brave soul in the admissions department would either lose at rock paper scissor or draw a short stick and eventually have to call my mother and explain things. I will always be grateful to the CWA staff, teachers and community for their tact and understanding. And grateful, to my parents who absorbed the financial consequence of my actions with a mixture of stunned disbelief but also a glimmer of hope that not only was I maturing but that Charles Wright was indeed worth the investment. My parents have always said a hard fought C or B at Charles Wright is worth an unearned “A” anywhere else. Parents, again, I hope you know, it is worth the investment. Contrary to the way I arrived in 7th grade, I graduated from Charles Wright ready to advocate for myself, prepared to excel in college and grounded in my new found appreciation for this community.