Grad Track Student Spotlight: Sydnee Pharr

Photo of Grad Track Student Sydnee Pharr

Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy (BASA) senior Sydnee Pharr has been on the Grad Track since her sophomore year of high school. Since that time, she has made a 360-degree change in her attitude about school as well as her motivation to not only pass a class, but to exceed expeditions and earn excellent grades. Sydnee began her high school journey in the middle of the pandemic which impacted her pivotal first year of high school. She struggled with being motivated to complete and turn in assignments and often found herself struggling to pass her classes each semester.

A turning point for Sydnee happened at the beginning of her senior year, when she realized that to continue doing the things she loved, like being a member of the BASA volleyball team and to achieve her goal of going to college, she needed to make better grades. Since then, Sydnee has displayed a positive “I can” attitude and has been motivated by the increase in grades she has witnessed because of her hard work.

Sydnee’s renewed efforts and positive attitude do not go unnoticed by her teachers and coach. Her positive attitude is not only impacting her own academic journey, but it is also influencing her classmates and teammates by showing them the results of hard work and determination.

Science teacher Elizabeth Ellis says, “Sydnee has worked hard to achieve her goals through junior and senior year and has become an example to her peers. I am incredibly proud of her, and I am grateful I had the opportunity to teach her during her time at BASA!”

Math teacher Addison Nieman shares, “Sydnee is a hard worker that cares about understanding what she is learning. She constantly asks questions to gain a deeper understanding of the math being taught. More importantly she is kind, caring, and respectful. She is a joy to have in class.”

Art teacher Catherine DeCocco elaborates, “Sydnee is a great student in art. She is conscientious when she misses class about catching up and staying on task. Sydnee has expressed that she is working harder than ever this year and her grades and attitude show it.”

Volleyball coach and science teacher David Rows says, “Sydnee has been a member of the BASA volleyball team since her freshman year of high school. Early in her high school career, Sydnee did not always make the best decisions in the classroom. However, Sydnee has really matured as a senior and models what it means to be a student athlete. She selflessly works hard on the court, accepts constructive criticism, and really puts the team ahead of her own personal goals. She was a big part of the team's success this year and helped us reach the Sweet Sixteen in the state tournament. More importantly, she has shown that same determination and maturity in the classroom. I am very proud of Syd and the student she has become.”

The comments from Sydnee’s teachers and coach speak volumes to the change in Sydnee that has allowed her to blossom into a positive and motivated student and volleyball teammate. This change has not only impacted her personally, but it provides inspiration to all those around her to never give up as well as the impact that hard work and determination can have on your current and future success. After high school graduation, Sydnee plans to possibly attend University of North Georgia and pursue a degree in Criminal Justice. She would like to either be a police officer or an investigator.

Way to go, Sydnee. We are 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.

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