EdWatch: Prestige Academy grads head to state's top high schools

By Amy Cherry 9:39am, June 19, 2013 - Updated 9:47am, June 19, 2013
WDEL's Amy Cherry talks with Prestige Founder and Executive Director Dr. Jack Perry.
Eighth graders walk down the aisle to get their diplomas for he second time in Prestige Academy's history--with many students moving on to some of the best high schools in the state.

WDEL's Amy Cherry shines the spotlight on Prestige Academy's success in this week's WDEL Delaware EducationWatch.

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A growing Prestige Academy in Wilmington sees its second graduating class.

This years eighth graders outperformed state averages on math and reading. Founder and Executive Director Dr. Jack Perry says some had to overcome major obstacles to get there.

"Many of our young men, when they arrive to us, on average are at least a grade or two below where they should be" says Perry.

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Many of Prestige's young men come from difficult home environments, but Perry says that's not a barrier to success.

"But it is also not an excuse for how they should be able to perform and the academic and social goals that they should be able to reach," Perry says.

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The high-performing charter school hopes to build on their boy's success and eventually have grades K through eight soon.

"We would love to catch boys earlier, preschool, kindergarten, so that there are no deficits, sot that we can just continue to make gains with our young men," he says.

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Some day, Prestige hopes to add a high school.

Perry, a native of Brookyln, NY says initially, he thought he would found Prestige Academy in Washington, D.C., but...

"I knew that the City of Wilmington, that boys, particularly, could benefit from a prestige, so Delaware became home," he says.

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Perry says he remembers fighting for single gender schools in this state and says seeing the fruits of his labor is exciting.

"To know that we have young men that will soon be in college, to see that come to fruition is something that we're very, very proud of," Perry says.

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Perry says he knows his students feel empowered and will go on to do great things and to graduate with a diploma from Prestige means a lot.

"It means that you've worked really, really hard," he says.

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