Traci is the Director of Horizon High School in Madison, WI. Horizon High School is Wisconsin's only high school that serves students with addiction and mental illness issues. Traci works 24/7 for the students so that they are successful in their high school completion.
a recent article in the WI State Journal says it all about Traci:
From church basement to flooded quarters to what is essentially the big classroom that Horizon High School now occupies, Traci Goll has been with it for nearly all of its 12-year existence.
As director of the only substance abuse recovery high school currently operating in Wisconsin, and leader of a staff of seven, Goll is proud of what the school has accomplished, despite year-in, year-out funding concerns. Another fundraiser for the school, to be held this summer, is in the planning stages.
“As director of this school, you are everything,” Goll said. “I do a lot of teaching, life skills. I’m the janitor, I clean the toilet. I deal with the parents. When you work for a nonprofit private school, you have to be the jack-of-all-trades.”
Horizon was founded in 2004 by a group of parents who were frustrated that there was nothing in Madison for kids who had drug and alcohol issues, but needed to continue their education. Students absolutely must want to be there, Goll said, and must have more than 30 days of sobriety to qualify. They each get random drug tests weekly.
The school, which typically has 15 students, now is in a space that has a small room filled with donated sofas for group therapy, and a large room where classes are taught. It’s humble, but Goll has no complaints.
“Being a Madisonian, I love it here,” said Goll, 52, who grew up on the West Side. “My family lives here, I was born and raised. I want this to be the best place it can be.”
I’ve always been interested in helping kids that have had special needs or behavior problems or drug and alcohol issues. I’ve been in the world of that for a long time. My biggest thing is, I always wanted to change the stigma and let these kids know it’s not their fault that they’re drug addicts and alcoholics. Maybe they made one poor mistake but there’s a lot more that is involved than that.
Traci inspires all of us to keep moving forward to complete our goals. She is a true inspiration! Last year she did not take a raise when we were having funding issues. We appreciate her work with the kids so much!! Traci is the best!!
Horizon High School