contributed by Jonathan Freeman
2004 Milford graduate Ryan Nunner said it took some convincing for his parents to be comfortable with his decision to attend Live Oaks. “My parents were wary of pulling me out of (Milford) until we did a tour of the Live Oaks campus and the administration helped me explain to them why I wanted to attend,” he said. This caused his parents to be supportive of his decision to attend, largely due to the benefits of receiving “real world” learning experience.
Because he wanted to change up his academic experience Ryan chose to attend Great Oaks, which allowed him to change his learning environment and to gain more hands-on experience. “I was never the most enthusiastic student but I would sit down and learn something as I was doing it,” Ryan stated.
When asked how Great Oaks and instructor Phil Said impacted his future he answered, “Phil Said is one of the most influential people in my life, and certainly the most influential teacher. He would always treat us like adults and would run the classroom like a business. This really helped me snap out of the ‘high school is the worst and lasts forever’ mindset that many kids that age experience.” Said pushed him and the entire class to be their best in all school activities, including participating in DECA business competitions. Ryan also noted that from Phil Said’s experience working in Sysco, the E-Commerce program benefited greatly, which showed the advantage of learning from individuals who have experience working in an industry.
Ryan worked in information technology for 14 years after completing the E-Commerce program at Live Oaks. He’s currently working as a Fleet Solutions Implementation Specialist for the RSCI’s iWarehouse group.
Ryan said that his friends reacted in different ways to his decision to attend Live Oaks. “Some of my friends ended up coming over to the Oaks with me, so it was great to have a little group of people you already know who could share your experiences. Of the friends who did not come with me, some I remain friends with to this day, some drifted away as we weren’t seeing each other every day, but I made more friends (in greater variety) at Live Oaks than I ever had at Milford High School.”
The advice Ryan had to share was “If you think you or your child would do better in a smaller class size, with more one-on-one support, hands-on exercises and a more laid back approach, then Great Oaks is for you.”