For weeks, the Pulp has brought you news of the academic struggles at Mavericks in Education Florida, a local for-profit charter school chain headed by Frank Biden. But among the eight Mavericks high schools in the state, one stands out in stark contrast to the rest. Mavericks High of Osceola County has a graduation rate of 43 percent-- more then three times higher than any other school in the chain. For a charter school serving kids who would otherwise drop out, that's a notable accomplishment. The Pulp found a recent graduate to share his thoughts on why the Kissimmee school worked for him.
After falling sick with mono his freshman year of high school, 18-year-old Timothy
Gocklin was home-schooled until his dad brought home a flier about a school that offered Wii and Xbox 360 games instead of gym classes. "That's why I went to this school," Gocklin says,only half-joking.
He liked Mavericks because class was only four hours a day. But he adds, "The teachers were amazing. They really wanted us to graduate, they were nice, friendly. You felt like you could really trust them. They would bend over backwards for you to get done with your classes."
After two years at Mavericks, Gocklin graduated this June with a standard diploma and enrolled at Valencia College in Orlando. He had no problem getting his paperwork from Mavericks accepted --despite a recent lawsuit alleging the Mavericks in Homestead is not issuing standard Florida high school diplomas.
"The diplomas are legitimate," Gocklin says.
He is now studying to be a physical education teacher.