Interview with Metropolitan Preparatory Academy Alum, Danielle Perlon
Danielle graduated from Metropolitan Preparatory Academy in 2020. She felt the school acted as a second home during her time there, and she enjoyed the vibrant, welcoming atmosphere. Danielle appreciated the close student-teacher relationships and was thankful for how much the unique set of supportive and inspiring educators cared about academic excellence and each student’s well-being. Danielle also fostered close positive relationships with her peers, regardless of grade differences. She recalls a collaborative environment at Metropolitan Preparatory School that prepared her for post-secondary education. Danielle is now in university, working toward a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
Highlights from the interview
Metropolitan Preparatory Academy was my second home. I used to wake up for school at 5:30 in the morning, get on the subway, then take a bus to school—but I loved it. It was just so worth it.
Something incredible that the school has to offer—and that I appreciated—is the quality of the student-teacher relationships. The teachers didn't just care about how well you were doing in your classes, they actually cared about how you were doing as a person. And if you were having a bad day, they'd check in on you. That helped get the best out of students because we weren't just treated like another number; we were treated like human beings. The teachers were people we could go to if we were having a hard time or needed an extension on an assignment
It made me want to reach for the stars with whatever I did—because I knew there were people behind me who supported me. I appreciated the bonds that were created and the memories I made there. I took on so many leadership opportunities at the school, for example, the many sports tournaments that I ran.
Metropolitan Preparatory Academy helped me learn how to be a better leader in the life that I live now outside of the school.
You will not find a better set of teachers or a better set of staff members at any other school. Most people I know from university do not have the same type of relationship with their high school teachers that I had at Metropolitan Preparatory Academy. I can still call up one of my teachers and say, ‘Hey, I need a reference for this thing that I'm applying for,’ they would write it in a heartbeat for me. I don't think you can find that anywhere else.
The level of diversity at Metropolitan Preparatory Academy was incredible. We had students from so many different backgrounds, which was extremely eye-opening, having come from a small community beforehand. The principal has this love and passion for education, which helps the teachers.
The teachers at Metropolitan Preparatory Academy were always there for students and were so inspiring.
The personality of Metropolitan Preparatory Academy is unique, welcoming, and vibrant. If Metropolitan Preparatory Academy were a person, they would be a warm, sweet person that you just want to get to know and spend more time with. My first impression was that it was a very welcoming environment, which never changed throughout my time there. Everybody at Metropolitan Preparatory Academy was so welcoming. It didn't matter if you started in Grade 12 or been there since Grade 7, everybody wanted to get to know each other, and it was a very familial environment. I think that that's unique about Metro Prep compared to other schools. There weren't any cliques or groups at Metro Prep because the school was a close-knit student community.
Dodgeball was like a cultural thing at Metropolitan Preparatory Academy. Everybody played dodgeball, and it was a great way to get to know people that aren't even in the same grade that could help you later on. We were all friends. It didn't matter what grade you were in.
I was a peer tutor at Metropolitan Preparatory Academy. I tutored many kids, which was also a good way to get to know people in different grades.
Metropolitan Preparatory Academy values hard work, community, academics, and a very positive environment. They would never try and put a student down in any way. It was always more about building each other up to make us the best versions of ourselves. I feel like Metro Prep did a good job of that. I'm a biology student; that is what I do right now in university. I remember studying so hard for one of the tests in my biology class. I made cue cards, tested myself every day, and studied for that test for three weeks. I ended up getting 100 on it, including the bonus. I was just so proud of myself, and the biology teacher was proud too. That was an incredible moment.
Something that a new student at Metropolitan Preparatory Academy might find surprising is how collaborative everyone is. Usually, when a school is so focused on academics, everyone's extremely competitive, but that was never the environment at Metro Prep. Of course, you wanted to do well, but no one would put someone else down to achieve that.
Students at Metropolitan Preparatory Academy are very friendly, and strive to work together to be the best versions of ourselves. I had a great high school experience with incredible support from the staff members, which has shaped me as a leader and an independent person. Now I'm in a sorority, and I have a leadership position in that sorority that I don't think I could have taken on without having the experience from Metro Prep. I don't think that I would have instilled in myself the same perseverance. I don't think I would have persevered through being online this whole university year during Covid if it wasn't for the hard work and perseverance that I had in Metro Prep that the teachers instilled in me.
I think that Metropolitan Preparatory Academy has shaped who I am today, and I'm glad that they did because I like who I am. I wish I could have gotten over my stage fright and joined the Music Club, because I play the piano and guitar, and I sing. I also wish the location of the school was closer to my house, just because it's a little far for me, but the commute was worth it. If it wasn't for that, I think I would have tried to join the Music Club, and other clubs, because the clubs were pretty awesome.
One thing that I've appreciated is how hard the classes were at Metropolitan Preparatory Academy, especially chemistry. When I got to university chemistry, a lot of it was review because the chemistry teacher at Metropolitan Preparatory Academy worked so hard to have us prepared for university-level chemistry. I think because of her, I did so well in university chemistry. If something was hard in high school chemistry for me, let's say I got like a 75%, when I did it again in university, I would end up with a 90%. Now that I'm looking back on it, yes, it was hard in high school, but it made my life so much easier in university.
The three big reasons someone should choose Metropolitan Preparatory Academy are the school’s focus on academics and extracurriculars, and the staff there. The teachers are so unique, you will not find a better set of staff and educators. I felt prepared for university, which I think is a lot of people's main goal when they're in high school. Metro Prep did such a good job of preparing students. We actually used one of the university prep books in our calculus class.
The extracurriculars are a great way to get to know other students and become more a part of Metropolitan Preparatory Academy’s social life. The Music Club is incredible. Everybody is such a talented musician at Metro Prep. DIY club was so much fun, because you can actually make something, hang out with your favourite teachers, and you get to bring something home that you've made. I still have some stuff that I made there, like origami and whatnot.
The staff and the teachers at Metropolitan Preparatory Academy are unparalleled and they're just so special. They will sit with you and teach students until they understand the concept, and they will try and find ways for you to understand what you're learning, so that way, you're not just memorizing it. That way, you've learned it. I want future students to know that it might be a lot of hard work, but Metropolitan Preparatory Academy is the most rewarding environment you will find. There is no other school that has such an incredible focus on education and student well-being. They care there. You won't find that anywhere else.