Chatham County Student Success Stories

Written by Jennifer Popkin on . Posted in Blog Posts, News, Spotlight

Mrs. Victoria Vermillion of Groves High School in Savannah, Georgia celebrated 2 student successes this year.  She and her co-workers took the opportunity to build a relationship with each student and to teach them self-determination and self-advocacy skills per the ASPIRE program.  The impact is impressive.  Here is what she had to say about De’Von Peters and Jaymes Mikell.

De’Von Peters

“When I first met De’Von (Peters) in his junior year, he was more interested in watching football on his cellphone than doing anything academic. At the beginning of this year, I had the privilege of becoming De’Von’ s case manager.  De’Von has never been really receptive to many adults at Groves High school, but somehow he would listen to what I had to say to him. This was a huge step for him since he did not trust many adults. He was very introverted when it came to adults and some of his peers. De’Von has come very far in his short academic career at Groves.  Academics was never his main priority. De’Von and I have had many talks about how important it is to complete his work and putting his best foot forward. I remember one conversation earlier this year where he said, “Mrs. V, I need to get an 80 in Spanish. I don’t want to get a 70 something.” This is when I knew that he was really maturing into a young man. He wasn’t going to settle. De’Von is ending his senior year on a positive note. He just signed a letter of intent to play football for Ridgewater College in Minnesota.”  

Jaymes Mikell

“When Jaymes first enrolled in Physical Science he was quiet to the point of being invisible.  As Mr. Hancock began talking with Jaymes and took him to visit a college campus, he opened up and started to really take an interest in his grades.  Learning that he was eligible for graduation this year was an additional boost that caused Jaymes to mature.  Jaymes asks questions not only when he is struggling with something but when he sees a classmate that just isn’t getting something.  This is the most valuable tool that a student can learn. As a teacher, I often find that because I understand a concept, I expect the kids to also.  This is often not the case.  When no one mentions needing help, I assume that the information is clearer than it actually is.  Jaymes has worked extremely hard in physical science, he has learned the importance of time management, following up on work started but not completed, and being punctual.  I have taught 39 years and have not seen a student make as big of a change as I have seen this semester in Jaymes.”    

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