Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy (BASA) senior La’Vita Weiner is on track for graduation and excited about her future. She plans to attend Georgia Gwinnett College in the Fall where she will major in film. The future is bright for BASA’s theater and drama star despite the many setbacks she has faced along the way.
At the beginning of her junior year, La’Vita was added to the caseload of BASA Graduation Specialist Amber Hagy. After a challenging sophomore year that included digital and in-person learning due to COVID and the traumatic loss of her father, La’Vita entered her junior year having failed several academic and elective courses. Mrs. Hagy partnered with La’Vita to develop a plan to get her back on track for graduation. This year, her new counselor, Mrs. Charlene Fletcher, was also instrumental in providing support and encouragement during La’Vita’s pivotal senior year. There were even days when Mrs. Fletcher stayed after school to support La’Vita in getting assignments completed and turned in so she had a shot at passing her classes.
La’Vita’s Dramatic Writing and Theater teachers are very proud of the growth they have seen in La’Vita. Mrs. Sherelle Patisaul says, “Lavita is a joy to teach. Her writing is poetic and thoughtful. She's such a deep thinker and asks incredible questions. I taught her when she was in 10th grade as a virtual student, and I'm thankful I've had the opportunity to teach her again in her senior year.” Ms. Bethany Barnes notes star-like qualities and says, “La’Vita is a hardworking and kind student with many talents. From the stage to costuming, it has been a pleasure to watch La’Vita shine at BASA!” Physics teacher Dr. Elizabeth Ellis shares, “La’Vita is a joy to have in class. She always enters with a good attitude and faces obstacles with courage. She is attentive and asks great questions, showing she is really thinking deeply about the content. She is a great example to her peers!”
Environmental science teacher, Ms. Kearsten Jones elaborates, “ If I could describe La'Vita with one word, it would be inspirational. La'Vita inspires me to view life with whole-hearted optimism. Even when faced with hardships, she still believes there is goodness to be found and compassion to be shared. This mindset has proved to be invaluable in our Environmental Science class, as we often cover difficult topics of suffering and loss amongst the organisms living on Earth. To quote the famous primatologist Jane Goodall, 'You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.' Even in the wake of adversity, which we all face daily, La'Vita has inspired me to still find the good in others and acknowledge the positive impact we can have on the world.”
La’Vita has overcome many obstacles that have made her track to graduation more difficult, but she has not allowed them to keep her from achieving her dream of graduating from BASA and attending college so she can continue doing what she loves in the film industry. La’Vita is one star that will never stop shining bright. Way to go, La’Vita! We are all very proud of you!
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.