“It’s been hard for me to adjust to the work. I’m constantly worried what stuff is due.”Getting used to Kerr is always a challenge, but for Bianca Perez, there is added pressure: as a sophomore, she is expected to know how Kerr works, but as a transfer from Hastings, she is still learning the system.
“It’s definitely way different from what I’m used to,” she said.
Transfer students are rare but not unusual.
“Every year we accept kids who are not freshman, and are usually sophomores, who tried last year and didn’t get in or they just moved to Alief,” principal Greg Freeman said.
Perez transferred because she believed Kerr was going to give a better college experience.
“I might as well get used to the [college] environment,” she said.
Sophomore Jasmine Romero believed that the school work at Hastings was just too easy.
“I wanted to learn more and I just didn’t like it there,” she said.
Romero wanted to learn about Kerr’s atmosphere, so she turned to her friends.
“My friends told me that it’s not going to be easy at first,” she said. “But it’ll get easier at the end.”
Romero wanted to come to Kerr back when she was in middle school, but decided to get a regular high school experience. She does not regret leaving that behind.
“They’re a lot more friendly here than at Hastings,” Romero said.
Junior Edye Guevara, who also transferred from Hastings, wanted to try a new way to learn. Guevara, who has experienced many different schools in New York, Indiana, Florida, and finally Texas, learned about Kerr while at O’Donnell Middle School but began his high school career at Westside High School because his mother changed jobs. The open structure at Kerr satisfies Guevara.
“It feels so free here,” he said, “but I know I got to do my work.”
Junior Alrich Fajardo moved from the Philippines less than a year ago, attending Hastings during the second semester. It was his mother who told him about Kerr and encouraged him to enroll.
“She read online that Kerr is really nice and it ranked high in the state,” he said. “I was expecting a college preparation.”
Fajardo was supposed to be a junior at Kerr, but with a confusing grading system, he came in as a sophomore.
“I had credit from the Philippines, so I just had to test so the counselors would know that I knew the subjects I got credit for,” he said.
Fajardo also felt a distinct change of environment from the Philippines to Houston.
“Here, it’s more organized and more cultural, but people are friendly in the Philippines,” he said. “But it’s too soon to tell which I like better. Moving to America—it’s just really different.”
Senior Carlos Felix spent his last three years at Hastings and made a sudden transfer his senior year.
“It was a benefit for the long run,” he said. “And I wanted to be better prepared for college.”
Felix, who transferred with his brother, freshman David Felix, learned about Kerr from his dad but it was his friends who further convinced him to make the transfer.
“They told me that I’d love it,” he said, “and I do.”
After being at an orthodox school for three years, moving to Kerr was a huge change.
“Doing work on my own is a big difference, but I like it better,” Felix said. “I miss [Hastings] though, but I’m glad Kerr filled in the gap quickly.”
Felix admits he had heard rumors that might have discouraged him from transferring to this school.
“Yeah, I heard a lot about Kerr,” he said. “But it didn’t matter, because through the years I learned that it doesn’t matter what people say or do because everything I do is to benefit me.”