HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — As a part of the News 8 Education Express Tour, meteorologist Gil Simmons is visiting a local school every Friday through the end of May. On Friday, he stopped at Hartford’s Weaver High School.
Simmons spoke with Tiffany Webley, who was a student at Weaver High School and then became an assistant principal. She was recently appointed to the role of principal.
“It makes me feel great to share my story with [the students],” she said. “We can all do it. We all come from the same walks of life, and if I can do it, you can too.”
Webley said the school offers a lot of opportunities for students. There are cheerleaders, an insurance and finance path program, journalism and media classes, and a thriving athletic department. Even a TV studio is being constructed.
There is also a video production program that allows students to practice screenwriting and have experience in a production room.
At Weaver High, there are two college to career pathways: one in insurance and finance and another in journalism and media. The school has a partnership with Hartford’s Travelers, giving opportunities to students.
One of Hartford’s Teacher of the Year nominees, Dr. Ralph Minaya, described his excitement at Weaver High.
“Students really recognize how hard we work for them,” Minaya said. “Also the administration, the colleagues, they really appreciate what we do here for the whole community.”
The Hartford Promise, another program offered at the school, allows students with a 3.0 GPA and 93% attendance throughout high school to receive $20,000 to attend any college across the country. One student explained that she is going to the University of Connecticut and hopes to major in biology.
One of the cheer team members, Lebron Marshall, said that going to Weaver High has really impacted his life.
“The cheer team increased my mental health a lot at times when I was said, and I genuinely feel like after school, sports, whatever the case is at Weaver, it really is useful,” Marshall said. “Not only are sports and education field important, but one thing I like about our principal, Miss Webley, is they put education first.”
Webley, a former cheerleader herself, showed off some moves with the cheer team.
Simmons spoke with the athletes of the Weaver High baseball and football teams. Students said the football team has been doing well with communication, winning six games so far. One student, a wide receiver, said the team is like family. As for baseball, the team added some new players this year, and one of the members said everyone gets along.
Webley said the student population and staff is amazing.
“It’s all about coming back to the community and giving back and showing people it doesn’t matter how you start, it’s about how you finish,” Webley said. “Students from Hartford, they can succeed. I want every single one of my students to understand that we all come from Hartford, but there are great endings to our stories if we have education.”