When I was 12 years old I was going to be an actress and no one could tell me any different, so when I heard about this new arts school opening I had to go there. I talked my mom into attending the meetings and signing me up. I was so excited. The first year there was so new and disorganized but I was in love. The years to come became more organized and structured. My 6 years at TSA seemed to go by so fast but taught me so much more than just the academics that other schools taught.

Fast forward 12 years and it was time to start thinking about middle school for my son Jordan. I had always told him about my time at TSA and since he was always drawing on anything he could get his hands on I thought he would fit in perfectly. As we walked through the halls I showed him everything, the mural I was in, the place where my locker was and my favorite teachers’ classrooms. It was like I was back home. We were immersed in music, dance and the faint smell of acrylics. As we left I could see that Jordan had fallen in love with TSA and we began the application process.

Jordan’s first year has been great for him. He has been challenged academically and pushed out of his comfort zone. Although he wanted to just do visual arts he did great in Theater and Music and he no longer gets in trouble for doodling on his papers. Gone are the textbooks having been replaced by tablets and there are many more classrooms than when I was there. It is different walking through the halls as a parent now. I am no longer known as Jessica but as Jordan’s mom.

Being the first, second generation TSA family has been amazing. I get to “come back home” through my son and I know he is getting the best education in Toledo. I feel like we have paved a path for other children of alumni and I can’t wait to see what our second generation accomplishes. The teachers may be different and the hallways may be fuller but the feeling of being at TSA is still the same.


Jessica c/o 2005

Jordan c/o 2025