In Perry Township Schools we say we grow kids. But, what does that mean? Regardless of what challenges a student may face, we will meet that student where they are and provide them with the tools and resources necessary to grow academically, socially, and behaviorally. From January-July 2024 we’ll be sharing real student stories once a month. Watch and read to learn how we grow kids.

Mary's Story


About Mary

While most children enjoy playing with their friends at school or in the neighborhood, Southport High School 2023 alumna, Mary Cer has a much different childhood. At six years old, Mary and her family fled Burma, their home country, to live in a refugee camp in Malaysia. As Mary describes, they were escaping extreme poverty, religious persecution, and the possibility of being murdered for their ethnicity. At age 11, they moved to the United States, settling in Perry Township. As a new 5th-grade student, Mary did not speak English fluently. But that did not stop her. Thanks in large part to the English Language Learners program and a caring community of educators, Mary graduated from SHS with honors.

Where Are They Now?

She is now a freshman at Indiana University, Bloomington. Mary is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Latin and Music. She has started to apply for neuroscience internships for the summer and hopes to work in the lab very soon. In the future, Mary hopes to study more in-depth about neurodegenerative diseases, in particular about Alzheimer’s disease.