Tsige Berelsman came to the United States from Ethiopia just 2 years ago, adopted by the Berelsman family. She enrolled as an eighth grader at Edgewood Middle School with limited English speaking skills.
Tsige states that, “I understood English more than I could speak it so I ended up not talking much. I answered questions when asked but I stayed mostly quiet.”
Tsige participated in soccer at EMS and received intensive support from her teachers. At Warsaw Community High School Tsige continued to play soccer as a freshman and also participated as a distance runner on the track team. In school she received instruction and support from Mr. Doug Ogle, her favorite teacher.
“He explained things in a way I could understand and I was able to pick up Algebra quickly.”
In May Tsige took the Algebra I End of Course Assessment (ECA), a graduation requirement, and passed after just 2 short years in the United States; a tremendous achievement!
Mr. Ogle commented that, “While Tsige’s confidence in her Algebra ability was low, her effort level was high. She slowly began making strides and just kept getting more and more confident. I think the biggest key to Tsige’s meteoric improvement in Algebra was the fact that she asked so many questions. I loved that she was not afraid to ask for help.”
Ms. Anne Willmert WCHS Dance teacher is another person Tsige’s mother, Mrs. Dawn Berelsman, credits with helping Tsige gain confidence, “She is compassionate and understanding. She has a willingness to provide a comfortable, fun learning environment where Tsige can express herself artistically.”
“Mr. Phil Call, Tsige’s EL teacher, also worked really hard and gave up many hours of his summer break and time away from his family to help Tsige,” says Mrs. Berelsman. She goes on to say, “We are fortunate to have a school system that chooses to walk not only beside us, but in our shoes! A team that is dedicated to providing an education tailored to meet Tsige exactly where she is, yet challenging her to stretch.” Her growing success as a student is a great example of a collaborative effort between Tsige, her caring adoptive family, dedicated teachers, diligent administrators, counselors who go the extra distance and a school system that values ALL children.
Dr. David Hoffert Superintendent of schools says, “Warsaw Community Schools (WCS) is proud of our many employees and community members who have decided to enrich the lives of others through foster placement, international and domestic adoption. The WCS Mission is to inspire and equip all students to continuously acquire and apply knowledge and skills while pursuing their dreams and enriching the lives of others. Each student enters school at a unique and personal learning level. WCS is dedicated to partnering with parents to find that level and providing the correct support. It is our honor to work with the many community adoptive and foster families.”
For more information about support for adoptive families within Warsaw Community Schools, please contact the Office of the Superintendent at 574-371-5098.