Inspire Alumni Testimonials & Stories

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Since its inception in 2010
Inspire School of Arts & Sciences has provided students with the unique opportunity to explore and intensively learn in the areas of theatre, music, dance, visual arts, digital media arts, engineering, and science – unlike any other high school in the North State. This award-winning high school commits to preparing the greatest number of students possible within a small school environment for a successful transition to college, work, and life experiences that reflect a lifelong love of learning, a fearless approach to risk-taking, a healthy work ethic, and a passionate commitment to service.
Over ten years of Inspire students have walked through the campus and so many stay in touch, talk about how Inspire changed their lives, and have said that Inspire staff made them who they are today. Take a look at what they have to say…

Emily Teague

Class of 2014
Inspire School of Arts & Sciences played a key role in the development of my character, confidence and creativity. My teachers were passionate role models I admired who truly cared for their students. They encouraged me to explore what I was interested in and were constantly providing their support. I loved that there were so many creative courses offered and the A/B schedule allowed for more of those courses to be options. After I graduated, I felt confident to set out into the world and pursue photography professionally, which I had started as a junior at Inspire. Since then, I’ve traveled and worked in 25 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean and West Africa. I’m now living and working out of Brooklyn, New York, as an editorial and commercial photographer. I balance my passion for creating stories in fashion with telling the stories of others through my work with non-profits and nongovernmental organizations. I reflect on my time at Inspire often and am so grateful for all that it provided me. I gained a fantastic education, beneficial life skills, friends, a community, teachers I stay in touch with, and memories I cherish. [button link="" color="purple" newwindow="yes"] EMILY TEAGUE'S WEBSITE[/button]
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Forrest Fankhauser

Class of 2020
The biggest gift Inspire gave me was the inspiration of my dedicated (and sometimes quirky) teachers. People often ask me about Inspire, not understanding what it has to offer me. I always tell them that we have the best instructional staff. In Math 3, Mrs. Reynolds taught beyond the material covered in the textbook. While teaching about polynomials, she also taught me about the deeper structures and intricacies behind mathematics. I can still remember her insistence on perfection when I take math tests today. More importantly, when she taught us about exponentials, she also taught us about life. I will never forget curve-fitting an exponential curve to her pregnancy hormones! And today, her lessons on exponential graphs helps me read the news with a critical eye, when suddenly y=e^x is crucial to public health and safety! Speaking of health, in Biology, Mrs. Olson introduced us to the world inside our own bodies. Four years later, I still remember what she told us about how soaps can tear apart fats (like viruses), now inspiring me to wash my hands aggressively. In Spanish 1, 2, and 3, Sra. Reid inspired me to continue learning Spanish in my free time. She helped me work past so many frustrating conjugations and grammar rules, but even better she exposed me to a new culture and perspective. Discussions in her classes helped me open up - even though I used to be shy. Once I reached AP Spanish with Sr. Isern, I realized that I had become a completely new person through Spanish. I feel more extroverted and out-going in my new second language, even willing to trip over my tongue trying to talk to a native speaker. Mrs. de la Torre's challenging AP US History was made possible by her passion for teaching. I was shocked to have aced the AP test under her wing, despite missing a month of school due to the Camp Fire. She helped me see a complete view of American History, giving me a deeper appreciation for civil rights and the context I needed to succeed this year in Government. And once I had somewhat outgrown Inspire's math and science classes, our counselors and the whole office staff helped me pursue my goals. They allowed me to follow my education at Chico State, where I was happily surprised that my teachers had prepared me wonderfully for college. The transition was smooth and often the workload was easy in comparison to the standards at Inspire.
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Geoffrey Morales

Class of 2017
I came to Inspire my sophomore year, and if I could go back in time and do things differently, I absolutely would. I would come in my first year so that I could experience all four years of high school at Inspire. This school has changed my life in more ways than anything else I’ve experienced. Inspire offers so many extracurricular courses, and it gave me the opportunity to really find my passion; and I did. I completely fell in love with digital media, specifically video production, and this is something I am now pursuing as a career. Without the extensive list of classes and resources that Inspire offers, I wouldn’t have the slightest clue as to where my future is headed. Not only did Inspire pave the way for my career plan, but it also helped me tremendously on a more personal level. Before coming to Inspire, I had lived in four different towns and attended three different schools. It was hard for me to really feel like I was a part of anything when I was so used to moving around. Inspire was the first place that I really felt a sense of belonging. The environment at this school is so open and welcoming, it’s really just like its own little community. It’s so different from the other schools I’d been to, because you can just tell that all the faculty, they truly care about each and every kid here. You can just feel the love and support. It’s because of the environment at this school that I was able to find the strength and courage to blossom and become the person that I was meant to be. My senior year, I came out as transgender, and even though it was a really scary experience, I felt totally safe because of the support and acceptance that this school encompasses. And that experience alone has completely changed my life in so many ways. If I hadn’t come to Inspire, I honestly don’t know what my life would be like now. I don’t know where I’d be or even who I’d be. What I do know for sure, is that I am far better off having experienced all that Inspire has to offer. And far down the line when I have kids of my own some day, I hope that wherever I am, I’ll find a school that will give my kids as good of experiences as the ones that Inspire gave me.
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Heather Hardie

Class of 2020
Inspire School of Arts and Sciences is by far the best high school in Butte County. I have spent the past for years commuting 60 miles a day in order to get the best education available to me. One of my favorite aspects of Inspire is the opportunity to take so many classes. Inspire gave me the opportunity to take nine classes whereas an average high school would have only allowed me to take six. With those opportunities I got to take four years of Spanish, Orchestra, and Ceramics, all elective classes that I wouldn’t have gotten to take at the high schools in Oroville. With these opportunities I was able to find my passion for the arts and still follow my passion for science. Inspire is the best school that I would have wanted to go to, and going there has been amazing. Another way that Inspire helped prepare me for continuing my education and pursuing my passion was with the amazing teachers and staff there. I have never had such wonderful teachers in my life, teachers who care deeply about their students and teaching them.
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Jamison Winternitz

Class of 2019
This school teaches life skills, work ethic, and provides a constructive/supportive community you cannot get at any other school.
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Josiah Robinson

Class of 2013
One teacher who made a positive impact in my life was Rachel Lufer who taught multiple science courses at Inspire. I had her for Human Anatomy where she passed down to me a passion for studying the human body which I have carried on and will continue to do so in my future profession as a physical therapist.  My favorite aspect about Inspire was the close-knit community that transcended class levels and interests. It was  a rare experience where friendships weren’t limited by cliques or seniority; the school productions and activities helped promote a unified school where everyone could feel welcome.  I strongly believe that Inspire helped me prepare for life after high school. The blocked class scheduling and a variety of electives made the transition into college very smooth for me. As well, after experiencing what rich community feels like at Inspire, I was motivated to seek the same type of community in college, which has significantly increased my enjoyment of higher education. Currently, I am 6 months away from receiving my Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Washington in Seattle. I got married in 2017 and my wife and I have spent the last two years adventuring up in Seattle as I work through grad school. I have loved the field of physical therapy as I get to incorporate my passion for human anatomy as well as utilize my creativity to come up with unique treatment options for patients of all stages of life. Following Inspire, I have been able keep up with my love of acting and participate in multiple community theatre performances, local as well as internet commercials, and a professional quality short film. I have had to put acting to the side as I focus on finishing my degree but I can’t wait to pick it up again when I’m done!
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Real graduates. Real rockstars.

Emily Teague

Photographer, Educator, Ambassador at SmugMug
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Oliver Moore

Award Winning Pianist, Composer
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Kat Burchett

Actor, Model, Disney Staff
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