Student rises above, passes test

Published 12:01 am Sunday, June 14, 2015


The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — When third grader Chance Shaw began this school year, he couldn’t read.

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Shaw transferred to the Natchez-Adams School District at the beginning of this school year from a private school in Natchez.

“He couldn’t read H-A-T or A-N-D,” his teacher, LaTarsha Thomas, said.

Now, Thomas hails Shaw as a “Data Hero” and presented his accomplishments to the Natchez-Adams School Board.

When Shaw’s reading skills were first tested at Susie B. West Elementary, he received a red score, the lowest he could have received.

Despite his low score, Shaw wasn’t disheartened and was dedicated to raising his score, Thomas said. It was a goal that he shared with his teacher.

“After a few days at West, I figured I wasn’t the best student at West,” Shaw said. “But then, after I figured that out, Mrs. Thomas worked with me, and I told myself I could do it from there.”

After every test he went to see Thomas, hoping to see that his score had improved. As the months went by, Shaw began to move up the testing “color scale.”

Thomas stood by Shaw on Thursday as she told the school board about Shaw’s success and determination in the classroom.

“I went from red, to yellow, to green,” Shaw said.

“He skipped blue,” Thomas explained.

When Shaw received green, it was a proud moment, both for him and for Thomas.

“I felt like the teacher of the universe when that child did what he did,” Thomas said.

Shaw received a standing ovation from the assembled crowd, as well as smiles from the board members.

“These are the kind of stories we need in the newspaper,” said Board Member Thelma Newsome.

Shaw passed his third-grade reading gateway test on the second try and will move to the fourth grade next school year.

He is the son of Torie Hinson Shaw of Natchez.