Delaware Today magazine 302 DT Reads: Prestige Academy in Wilmington is a charter school that is transforming the lives of its students
The Ties That Bind: At Prestige Academy, it’s about tough beginnings and honorable endings.
(page 4 of 4)
Notes From The Dean
Eric Mosely recalls keenly the first year Jackson-Wright attended Prestige. Mosely, the academy’s dean of students and families, was the boy’s homeroom instructor that year. Early in the term, he handed out the year’s first report cards. Amid the clamor of excitement and anxiousness, he noticed Jackson-Wright’s reaction.
“He just started bawling,” says Mosely. “He literally was just holding his head in his hands and just big time crying.”
Some of the students were shocked and silent. Others laughed and teased him. But before Mosely could make a move in defense of his young student, Jackson-Wright stood up, wiped away the tears and said, “I don’t read that well and I don’t like the way I’m feeling. But I’m gonna’ do better. I know I’m gonna’ do better.”
“Some of the boys were still laughing, but Daivon didn’t care,” says Mosely. “And I’m just standing there thinking, ‘Woah! Where did this come from?’”
During the Tie Induction Ceremony, Jackson-Wright tells this story to an audience of parents, students and teachers. He takes deep breaths between sentences, summoning the courage he never knew he had before coming to Prestige.
“Daivon was one of those hallmark things people talked about long after the ceremony was over,” says Perry. “He composed himself and talked about his story. And the adults and kids in the room were all completely with him as he shared those things. And there were some tears for sure.”
Academically, both boys excel these days, bringing home advanced scores in their state exams and earning mostly A’s and B’s. Jackson-Wright wants to go to the University of Kentucky, major in criminal justice, and become a cop.
“These two boys represent what Prestige was created for,” says Perry, who can’t believe that his first class of boys will be graduating at the end of the year. “If we are pushing for every boy to be the best he can be academically and socially, eventually they get that this is what it’s about. They don’t have to be afraid of being a nerd or getting up and talking to the class or scoring the best in the class. This is what it’s about, and these two really epitomize our goal here.”