Local success stories aim to inspire students


(Posted Jan. 22, 2016)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

London High School Principal Chad Eisler is passionate about igniting a spark in students that lights the way for their futures.

To that end, he talks about learning and career possibilities over the public announcement system in a weekly address he calls “Think About It Thursday.”

“We want to get kids to think about their futures so that when they graduate, they have some kind of plan,” Eisler said.

This year, he expanded on the idea of inspiration with the Red Raider Speaker Series. So far, three individuals with ties to the London community have spoken to the full student body about their career paths. Eisler hopes to schedule one or two more speakers before the end of the school year.

“They talk about their particular journey, their story, how they achieved success, the obstacles they overcame,” he said of the series’ purpose. “It’s an opportunity for students to hear from yet one more person who has gone out in the world and been successful.”

The first speakers in the series were Larry and Karen Peters, owners of Peters Photography based in London. Larry is known as a trailblazer in the field of portrait photography, earning national and international acclaim. Karen ran Creamer Metal Products in London, started by her parents, until 2013 and lends her business expertise to the photography studio.

“Our message to the students was that it doesn’t matter where you live, how you grew up or your situation, you can do pretty much anything you want to do,” said Larry. Both he and Karen graduated from London High School. “We really like our town. It’s small but it’s what you do with where you’re planted that makes your direction.”

Nicky Morse, also a London graduate, was the most recent speaker to address students. A professional chef who trained in a four-star restaurant, Morse hosted a national television show called “The Racing Chef,” wrote for the food section of an Italian magazine, appeared on the Food Network, and now works as a professional food stylist with national and international clients.

Morse said he has reinvented himself many times over his career.

“My talk to the kids was about not giving up, trying things, and not being scared to fail,” he said. “You don’t need a lot in life to go in the direction you want to go. You have to follow your dreams.”

Eisler said an integral part of his message to students and that of participants in the Red Raider Speaker Series is to embrace the idea of being lifelong learners, whether that’s through formal or informal avenues.

“No matter where you are employed, your employer is going to want you to grow and get better at what you do. That’s also a good way to open up new opportunities,” he said. “For a lot of people, there is joy in growing, in learning. It leads to a fuller life.”

Eisler also shares his vision of what work can mean in a person’s life.

“We want to give students a vision of how it’s done and what it takes, how to foster a fire inside them to go out and make a positive contribution to the world,” he said. “I see work as a way to make society better. The question I put to students is: ‘What service do you want to provide?’ ”

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