Anthony “Gaige” Shierling is a Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy (BASA) junior who joined the Grad Track at the beginning of his sophomore year after failing 9th Literature, Algebra 1 and World Geography during his freshman year. In addition, he had a rough start to his sophomore year and failed World History. Gaige consistently struggled during his first two years of high school to have the motivation and determination to do well in his classes.
Toward the beginning of his sophomore year, Gaige made some choices that resulted in a transfer to the Barrow County Alternative Education Program (BCAEP). Although this was a tough change for Gaige, it ended up being a blessing that allowed him time to reflect on his choices and benefit from the support and guidance of amazing teachers and staff. BCAEP faculty and staff are experts at helping students refocus and regain momentum in a positive direction. In fact, according to Gaige, "I believe my current success and getting back on the right track is because of the time I spent at the alternative school where I was taught to better manage my time and had people who believed in me." Gaige had the support of the teachers, administrators and a counselor who believed in him and encouraged him daily to make good choices.
Upon his return to BASA in the Fall of 2022, Gaige has proven he is focused on success and continues to amaze his teachers and graduation specialist with his determination to make the most of his last two years of high school. He is currently ending his first semester of his junior year with straight A’s. Ms. Nissenbaum, his American Literature teacher says, "Gaige has become one of my most dedicated students. His work is always top notch, and he works diligently to complete assignments. He is a model student!" Culinary teacher, Chef Williams says, "Anthony has been a pure joy to teach. His growth is inspirational. One thing I have seen such a change in is how he deals with his emotions. If he is struggling, he now lets me know and he uses healthy tactics to help him through. It has made a huge difference in his work quality."
Teacher Audrey Callahan adds, "I taught Gaige in his freshman year and he is now in my Crew as a junior. It is wonderful to see his progress over the last two years and how well he is doing now. He is an inspiration to other students and it is a privilege as a teacher to witness such a transition. I hope his story encourages other students and reminds teachers to never give up on any of their students."
Everyone is proud to see Gaige on the right track - one that will lead him to successfully graduating in May of 2024. Way to go, Gaige!
We are proud of our students who are on the “Grad Track.” A Grad Track student has either failed one or more academic classes and/or is behind in credits needed for graduation with their cohort class. Graduation Specialists at all three Barrow County School System (BCSS) high schools support students who meet these qualifications.