School leader speaks to Riverwood students

From News ReleaseDecember 30, 2013 

Riverwood Middle student Cora Emory, left, stands with Rodney Peterson as he extols students to be more than average.


Rodney Peterson, chief academic officer of Johnston County Schools, recently paid a visit to Riverwood Middle School, where he spoke to a group of students about how to make their upcoming years successful.

Peterson challenged the group of AVID students to begin preparing for their future now. AVID is short for Advancement Via Individual Determination.

To succeed, he said, students should see their goals, choose their friends carefully and sacrifice today for their goals tomorrow. He also asked them to ask themselves “Where do I want to be in five years?” and to create a five-year plan to achieve those goals.

“If you want to go to college, now is the time to start thinking about it and preparing for it,” Peterson said.

To help them make plans, Peterson suggested the students talk to their guidance counselor about high school classes, advanced classes and scholarships. In addition, he advised the students to make a list of three or more colleges they would like to attend and include on that list the requirements for admission.

“You should want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe,” Peterson said.

He concluded his presentation by encouraging the students to promise to be “allergic to average” and “not to be great but to be phenomenal.”

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