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Alumni Spotlight: Aaron Wernick

Post Oak eighth grade class of 2007

by Shannon Neufeld, Communication Coordinator
From the December 11, 2009 edition of The Weekly POst

Recently I spoke to Alumnus Aaron Wernick who attended Post Oak beginning in Primary and graduated as an eighth-grader in 2007. Now he is a junior at Bellaire High School, and told us enthusiastically about his experience there, as well as some of his memories of Post Oak.
One particularly memorable experience for Aaron was a trip in Middle School. “My favorite trip in Middle School was the trip to Crow Canyon [Archeological Center in Cortez, Colorado] in seventh grade. There was a dig site in Colorado. We took a plane and then a long bus ride to get there.”

While on that trip, he recalls they learned about ancient tribes, professional archeologists showed the students what they had found, and the students participated in simulated digs when scientists had placed things for the students to find.
He found that traveling in Middle School was a unique experience. “We went to Chain-of-Lakes, Washington, D.C., Blackwood, and the Texas Odyssey trip in addition to Crow Canyon. My favorite aspect of the trips is that it was absolutely hands-on. You don’t really get to do that in igh school.”

Looking back a little further at favorite materials, he remembers that he loved the Pink Tower materials in Primary. “I really enjoyed that back then.”

Aaron also had an interesting take on his favorite topic in school. “Subject-wise, it was math, but my favorite class was PE,” he said.

Now at Bellaire High School, Aaron is one in a class of 1,300 students—a big change from his graduating class of nine at Post Oak. At first he was concerned the transition would be difficult, but, “It wasn’t actually that bad. I felt like I fit in,” he said. “I definitely think the Montessori experience helped.”

Most of Aaron’s classmates did not attend Montessori school, but he didn’t mind. “I don’t mind being different,” he said. “And I’m Jewish­­—I was the only Jewish kid in my class [at Post Oak], so I was different then too. Montessori never comes up in conversation. The kids are the same pretty much.”

One thing Aaron thinks Post Oak gave him an advantage with is writing research papers. “I’m good at finding things because we had to do them at Post Oak.”

At Bellaire, Aaron is a member of  the track team, his best events being the 100- and 200-meter races. He is a member of the chess club, which recently won first place at a statewide tournament. He learned to play chess when he was younger, but became interested in playing again in Middle School when he had former Post Oak Teacher Von Niezgoda. “I was the one student who could beat him.”

Community service, an integral part of the Post Oak Middle School experience, made an impression on Aaron and it is something he has carried on in high school. “I’m a member of the Bellaire Men’s Club [a men’s youth community service organization]. We’re doing a toy drive – we’re wrapping toys this weekend and delivering them next weekend.”

Aaron was just promoted to the position of chairman of the club. “I planned a holiday dance recently and they liked my attitude and so they promoted me.”