Joel, Edna, and Melodye Perry “The way Harvey Stromberg teaches history is something else. You feel like you’re traveling back in time.”

In the Perry family there’s enough talent, drive and creativity to start up a nice little dynasty. And if Joel has his way—and his mother Edna and sister Melodye are willing—that might just come to pass. “I’m studying business so I can get into producing music,” says Joel. “Both my mother and sister have a lot of musical talent and—who knows? Maybe I can get them to sign a contract,” he says with a laugh. But the ‘contract’ the Perry family has made with each other and SMC is their determination to succeed in education.

“Learning has always been very important in our family, especially with my dad,” says Joel. “So he’s pretty happy about all of us being in school together. And it’s been perfect for us. We’ll meet at lunch and check up on each other. And my sister and mom have a couple of music classes together, which is cool.”

Joel reports that he and Melodye are heading for UCLA, no doubt. “Mom hasn’t decided yet on where she’s going, but I think she’ll be teaching music, which she’d be good at.” But for now, the Perry family is simply pleased to be studying at SMC. “We’d always be talking about what we were studying, and that made Mom realize she wanted to go back to school,” says Joel. “And when she started getting serious, we just said, ‘Okay, Mom. Let’s all go for it.’”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.