LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The crowded halls at the start of a new semester can take some getting used to, but for Nathan Romero, walking through Fern Creek High School reminds him of how far he’s come.
“I had to learn how to man up to a lot of obstacles I was facing, just in teen life. I had to learn at different situations in a positive," Romero said.
Romero is a high school junior who spent 12 weeks of his last semester at Minor Daniels Academy, the JCPS alternative school for troubled kids.
He was sent there after getting into a fight with another student.
“If I could go back and undo it, I would, but you have to learn from every mistake that you go through and that's something that I've definitely done.”
It’s that new attitude that granted him a fresh start at Fern Creek High this year, thanks to people like Tangie Horn.
“I just saw him mature a lot, and respect, and showed a lot more concern about the things that they do, how it affects people.”
Horn has worked with students at the alternative school since its start three years ago.
“I get close to a lot of them. I get sad when they leave, I feel myself bubbling up with tears, but it's joy because they're leaving.”
Principal Donald Dillard told WHAS11 News that it's kids like Nathan who remind him of the good that Minor Daniels can do with their structured curriculum that supports students bettering themselves,
“All of the kids are not bad kids. We have kids that made mistakes, we all make mistakes, and what we try to do is try to have them learn from that so they can be successful,” Dillard said.
Romero seems to be settling in just fine as a Fern Creek High Tiger, already scoring 100 points on his first quiz. He’s also talking to the principal about joining track and field.
“That's what I'm shooting for, athletics and honor roll.”
Romero is one of 32 students so far moving on from Minor Daniels in 2018. Students can be there for as little as six weeks, although some students have been at the school for over a year.
It's up to Principal Dillard to decide if these kids are ready for a regular school again.