CICS Ralph Ellison

CICS Ralph Ellison Dean Sees the Strength in Student Athletes

Written by Chicago International Charter School
29 May 2017
Posted in News

At Ralph Ellison, Mr. Woghiren believes that the athletic side of education is just as important as academics.

“It’s twofold. When we have students who are successful then their parents and friends come, too. It can be hard to get students to step out of their comfort zones, but once they trust the process, they come out of the their shell and show leadership.”

Mr. Woghiren remembers a student athlete who wanted to quit two years in a row. The year that he did quit, the student began to get into trouble on the streets. One year later, the student stuck with basketball, and it became his second family. Despite dealing with abandonment and a death in his family, the student remained on the team. He developed his skills, and it paid dividends, earning him a partial scholarship to college.

Recognizing that not everyone can be reached in the same way, Mr. Woghiren still believes the work they do is important.

“Our goal is to bring pride in our school. We feel one of the most imperative ways to do that is to create a strong foundation with sports. It ties hand in hand with academics. You can’t play if you don’t have good grades, and sports add to the skills needed to be successful in life.”

Combining mental and physical education is key at Ralph Ellison, and students there are on course to score some major victories in life.

Mr. Woghiren’s proudest moment?

Watching the evolution from the first day of school to the last, watching the kids evolve into young ladies and gentlemen.

How will athletics evolve at the school?

Mr. Woghiren is excited to welcome Tyron Ollie to the athletics department next year. Mr. Ollie is currently the security guard at Ralph Ellison, but next year, he’ll be moving up to become the football coach. Going from greeting the students in the morning to coaching them on the field is a natural progression for him, and he is thrilled to have a more hands on role at Ralph Ellison.

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