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A Ramsey Success Story
This is the cover art of Ardian's podcast. It was created through Artificial Intelligence and designed to show the infinite possible life paths for students after high school graduation.
Last week I had the privilege of serving as a panelist for a Defense of Learning. I felt compelled to share my experience as a panelist on this student’s Defense and the bigger story that makes this such a unique and remarkable Ramsey success story.
The student is Ardian Llukaj, and his story in Ramsey began in September 2014 as a fourth grader. I was lucky enough to be the principal of Dater at the time, so I was able to get to know Ardian and his family from their beginning in America.
Ardian and his family immigrated to the United States from Greece. They did not speak a word of English. I remember Ardian got lost during the transition from recess on that first day of school and could not verbally communicate his feelings to anyone. It was a tough first day. But it got better. Ardian worked hard in all his classes, and his teachers adored him.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck in mid-November of that year when Ardian’s mother was the fatal victim of a hit-and-run accident in Paramus. If you were part of the Ramsey schools at the time, you might remember that our community raised significant funds to support the family during this difficult time.
Despite all of the obstacles and tragedies, Ardian has persevered over the years through the support of his family and the Ramsey schools. Last week, he stood before a panel of faculty members, presented his Grade 12 Profile Project, and completed his Defense of Learning.
His Profile Project was to produce a podcast called Life Paths about different options available to students post-high school. He conducted researched, completed interviews, wrote the scripts, and published the final product on Spotify.
Go deeper: Listen to Ardian’s episode in which he interviews Joaquin Kull (RHS ‘22) about his experiences at West Point.
During his Defense, Ardian spoke fluent English, was articulate, poised, and embodied many of the skills we have put forth in our Profile of a Ramsey Graduate. Ardian is a Ramsey success story for all of us to celebrate!