top of page

Madison Carrington

I Believe in This School

By Barry Engelhardt

“They teach us a lot. They do important things to make us safe and healthy.”

Madison Carrington’s face lights up as she shares, “I believe in this school.” As we talk, I quickly realize exactly why, seeing Meridian’s educational system through her eyes. It’s one thing to walk the halls as an impressed visitor who positively interacts with students, teachers, and administrators. But it’s quite another experience to see the school through the eyes of a sixth-grader who realizes Meridian’s school system has been precisely what she needed, just when she needed it.

Madison’s excitement floods the room. Before I realize what’s happening, I absorb her delight, leaning in as she summarizes her teachers’ positive impact. She shares that she moved to town three years ago, and one of the primary reasons was Meridian’s school system. “They’re really good teachers. They teach us a lot. They do important things to make us safe and healthy,” says Madison.

Her statement that her teachers make her feel safe and healthy is incredibly impactful as she admits that she hasn’t always felt this way. As the father of two young boys, I can’t help but imagine what it must be like for parents when the child they love, support, and believe in doesn’t feel safe in school. And I’m thankful that regardless of her prior school, she’s found Meridian.

As she continues, she shares that she didn’t have positive interactions with some of the teachers at her previous school. One of the primary reasons Madison’s family moved to Mound City when she was in third grade was to ensure she received the quality of education that many take for granted.

The move ensured that Madison could witness the same warm and nurturing environment that her father, a Meridian graduate, had received a generation before. For Madison, Meridian has been a light, a chance at a new beginning where she feels loved and supported academically and emotionally.

While Madison is still determining what the future entails, she has a passion for helping others, a quality she learned from her mother. She says her mother works for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and provides a strong example by consistently going above and beyond to ensure others get what they need.

Madison is considering a career in medicine and hopes to become a doctor or nurse, despite being open to where life and her changing interests take her. Pragmatic in nature, her primary concern is the amount of time and energy required. No stranger to hard work, she says her semi-truck driver father is a daily reminder of what it means to display a strong work ethic.

In the meantime, as a three-sport athlete, Madison spends her time outside class playing volleyball, basketball, and softball. One of her favorite aspects of athletics is interacting with her teammates, who are also some of her best friends. Although she has learned to play the trumpet and saxophone, Madison doesn’t consider herself much of an art person, despite enjoying working with clay.

Madison grins as she admits she doesn’t like reading, but isn’t intimidated by math. Her favorite subject is social studies, and she considers ancient civilizations fascinating. While she enjoys her junior high social studies course, she also loves learning from her older brother, who earned his doctorate and is a college history professor in Louisiana.

With years to decide who she wants to be when she grows up, Madison is content enjoying herself in the classroom and on the ballfield, knowing that, for now, Meridian is exactly where she belongs and where she needs to be.

bottom of page