Graduates Tell Their Stories

With an emphasis on embracing students’ individuality and distinctive needs, Summit Academy Transition High School – Dayton takes a novel approach to education.

“We do high school differently,” says Principal Lisa Brown, describing the school’s holistic approach to education, small classes, close-knit community and special education services as well as social skills and positive behavior support. Dayton Transition High School, as it is known informally, also offers a four-day school week and after-school clubs.

“We lean more into helping all students, no matter the obstacles they have faced, to be successful and graduate on time,” adds Assistant Principal Steve Dishon, pointing to the school’s credit recovery and tutoring options, among its other offerings. “At Summit we help students who have struggled in the traditional school system to find success on their path to adulthood.”

Perhaps Dayton Transition High School’s story is best told through its students and graduates. They describe a setting in which they can approach teachers and administrators with trust, where they will  not slip through the cracks or go unseen. Three recent graduates share their experiences.

Logan Williams, Class of 2023

How was being a Summit Academy student most beneficial to you?

Honestly, the teachers helped me a lot and so did the staff, but what helped  me the most was the atmosphere … At Summit, having a problem is less of a problem.

What was one your greatest highlights as a Summit Academy student?

Transferring to Summit Academy after fifth grade, I was ecstatic about martial arts, learning that the harder you work you gain a new belt if you’re good enough. I went from white to green by the first (belt) promotion ceremony … and I assisted the sensei.

What kept you going to reach a point of graduation despite crises that impacted your life?

If there is one person who taught me not to give up, it was Mr. Dishon (Assistant Principal Steve Dishon). I could go to him with any issue. He picked up on the fact that I sometimes had poor judgement. He gave me helpful advice on my schooling and helped me look at things from a broader perspective. Also, I could go to my favorite teacher, Ms. (Courtney) Eden, when I had problems. She is a very good person. I could talk to her;  she understood life issues. One other person who kept me in school is my best friend, Luke. I felt like I could go to him any time.

What advice do you have for teens facing struggles in school or home life?

Just keep smiling. Even when you don’t feel like it, smile for someone else.

Hobbies …

Collecting and playing cards, specifically Yu-Gi-Oh!, collecting knives, daggers, bows and arrows…

Future plans …

“I’d like to go into the pastry-baking business. I have a sweet tooth so it would give me an excuse.”

What does it take to be successful?

Learning that you, nobody else, is going to do it. You have to be good at handling your emotions and putting energy into what you like. Find things that keep your interest and funnel those properly, focus your attention on them.


Shree Chattopadhyay, Class of 2023

How was Summit Academy been a good fit for you?

Summit was really great with helping me recover school credits. I got a lot of one-on-one help at Summit Academy, filling in those in-between pieces that were missing when I attended an online school.

What was your favorite class?

I really like English. I love writing and reading. I enjoy creative writing and helping other people with their writing. I’ll edit their work or write with them.

How would you describe Summit Academy Transition High School – Dayton to someone unfamiliar with the school?

It’s definitely hands-on. You get a lot more one-on-one time with teachers than you would in other schools. Because it’s a very close-knit school that specializes in helping different students with different needs, teaching and social interactions are handled well.

What would you like people to know about you?

I’ve worked pretty hard to be in the position I am mentally, emotionally, maturity-wise. I built my way to where I am by working, asking questions, pushing for more. I faced negative experiences in life, came in to school behind in every class and faced homelessness. I have seen that working for something is going to get you there quicker than waiting for something to happen. 

What are your interests?

Theater and art are really enjoyable to me. I was in my first-ever performance this year playing Carolyn in “The Bridges of Madison County” with the Lebanon Theatre Company. We performed six shows. I loved it. Art is also an important part of my life. It’s a relaxing escape for me. I take a coloring book with me everywhere. Coloring while listening in class has been a big aspect of helping me concentrate, focus and de-stress.

Future plans …

I plan to get a BFA in theater and eventually teach high school. Before that, I am going to use a period of time after graduation to work full time and take a leadership position at my job. I plan to put money in savings and apply for scholarships so I can go to college with as little debt as possible.

Advice to students who may be struggling or have odds stacked against them …

Don’t compare yourself to other people you see on TV or social media. A lot of times they have been set up in a positive position with more opportunities. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to do well. You may have to work harder and that isn’t fun, but you can get to a better place.


Jarrell Draper, Class of 2023

Greatest impact Summit Academy had on your life …

They believed in me and helped me remind myself of how much I am capable of.

One my best moments at Summit Academy was …

The day before prom, finding out I earned four graduation seals (citizenship, fine and performing arts, Ohio Means Jobs and science) instead of the two I was expecting.

First job, landed right out of high school …

Courtesy clerk/grocery bagger and cart collector for Kroger

Best times at Summit Academy were …

Times with friends

Hobbies …

Reading, playing video games

Future plans …

Visiting colleges

Parent comment …

“Summit Academy outright did their thing. Jarrell left high school completely independent.” -Jennifer Hall

 For more information

To learn more about Summit Academy Transition High School – Dayton, call 937-813-8592. To apply for enrollment visit