The Pulaski County Special School District boasts many bright students from 25 schools across central Arkansas. One such student is a rising senior at Robinson High School and future collegiate baseball player. PCSSD Executive Director of Communications, Jessica Duff, spoke with Justin Nelson, a left fielder for the Senator baseball team, about his transition from private school to public school and how athletics help him adjust and flourish.
When did you move to Robinson High School? I started my freshman year at Robinson High School. But before that I was at Pulaski Academy.
What was the transition like from private school to Robinson High School? It wasn’t too hard. The hardest part for me was just having to make my lunch everyday! *haha* Looking back now, I wish I had gone to that [Robinson] middle school. I know the education is right and the school is great. It helps to go to school with the same people from the beginning until graduation.
What has your experience been like at Robinson? It’s more like a family than anything else. Some of these people have been going to school together all their lives so they’re real close. But they brought me into it.
What made you feel so connected to your fellow classmates when you can to Robinson High School? Primarily being on the baseball team. This family life is different than anything I’ve ever experienced. We argue with each other, we fight each other, but we also have each other’s backs. It’s great.
Looking back on the past baseball season, what are your expectations moving into next year? We had a really good year last year and the year before last year. This year we have 10 returning seniors so I expect nothing less than State!
What are some of your biggest accomplishments from playing baseball at Robinson High School? I started playing varsity in tenth grade. It was harder in ninth grade because there were more seniors on the team and I didn’t on the field much. But this season, we broke the win record with more than 20 wins for the second year in a row.
Off the baseball field, do you feel you’re challenged inside the classroom as well? Oh definitely! Some people assume that because it’s public school that they don’t have as good of an education. But trust me, especially with AP classes, it’s tough and challenging.
What are you looking forward to after high school? I hope to go to college and play baseball. I’m looking at Memphis, Arkansas State and UAPB. And that includes a possible scholarship with UAPB.
If someone was looking to make a switch from another school to come to Robinson High School, what would you tell them? I would just tell them to come visit us and see for yourself! We have fun out here.