Jason Kelce (R) with his brother, Travis Kelce, after their induction into the Cleveland Heights High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in 2018.
Sept. 13, 2019 -- Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman and Heights High graduate Jason Kelce ('06) discusses how his school career helped shape his character and worldview as part of a series on public education for The Philadelphia Citizen.
"Growing up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, my parents were both public school advocates. As athletes, my brother and I both had opportunities to go to private schools, but my parents didn’t want that for us. And while I respect that every family has to figure out the right educational fit for them, I’m so grateful for my parents’ decision."
"...[T]here were real opportunities at the school. It had, and still has, a really good AP program, and a lot of my classmates went to Ivy League schools and off to do all kinds of incredible things. I have always loved music and I spent four years playing baritone sax in my school’s jazz ensemble and the symphonic band—every spring break, we would go to different cities and compete against other jazz bands. Mr. Brett Baker, my music teacher, was one of my favorites—I still keep in touch with him!"
"My third grade teacher, Mr. I, made learning fun—we’d play a basketball game that kept me active and attentive in class. I was always drawn to science and math, and loved Mr. Javorek, my middle school science teacher, and Mrs. Bukovac, who I had for AP statistics and advanced math in high school. It’s really hard to name just a few, because there were so many great ones."
"One of the beautiful things about football is that a locker room of the NFL is one of the most diverse places you’ll see. We have guys from all over the place. And I think that one of the things that prepared me for that was going to Cleveland Heights High School, because being around people who are different from you—or who have different viewpoints from yours—and being able to communicate and have relationships with all sorts of different individuals makes you more well-rounded and better able to communicate as an adult. I think that’s why my brother and I both have the emotional intelligence and the ability to connect not just as leaders on our given teams, but to connect with teammates from anywhere, and to connect with, in my case, the city of Philadelphia."
In the series, Kelce will spotlight leaders and organizations making a difference in the lives of Philly students.