After Drifting Away From High School, CCAA Grad Does Himself Proud
November 30, 2021 | Jeffrey Good
Stalleon Glass knew time was running out. After drifting in and out of a succession of high schools, he saw his 21st birthday fast approaching — and, with it, the deadline for earning his diploma before he aged out of the public school system.
With support from the educators and advocates at Clark County Acceleration Academies, he dug in and finished his studies with literally minutes to spare. Today, he’s proud of his achievement and making plans to attend school to become an electrician — and, one day, an architect.
“I’ve been doing high school for a long time,” says Stalleon. He says one word captured his feelings, and those of his mother, when he graduated this fall. “Proud.”
CCAA works in partnership with the Clark County School District to provide a non-traditional option for students who haven’t found success in traditional schools. Stalleon fits that description; he says the social pressures and crowded classrooms of his former school were an uneasy fit for him.
“The school that I was going to, I wasn’t really accomplishing anything,” he says. “I’d pull up to school and just take one class and go home.”
Things got worse when conflicts broke out at his school and he was — unfairly, he says — tarred for making trouble while making little effort in class. He was given two choices: Switch to a virtual program or withdraw.
He chose to drop out and work full-time. But after two years, he decided to get his education back on track, enrolling in an alternative school that was different — but no better — than the one he had left.
“It was a fresh environment but with worse people,” he says. “They would just hand you a packet and tell you to do the work. There was nothing to invest in.”
A guidance counselor told him about CCAA, where he could do coursework at his own pace in the quiet of his home while also getting one-on-one support as needed. He caught fire, surging through his coursework while also working at Wal Mart to support himself.
He praises science and social studies content coach Alana Milich with pushing him beyond his comfort zone. “
“She was really hard on the grading. I hated it in a way, but it was productive,” he says. “I had to actually comprehend what I was reading, sit down and create my own essay.”
He also credited graduation candidate advocate Tiffany Ford with helping him through rough patches to stay on course. “She kept me on track a lot. She understood my character. She knew I wanted to finish, so she helped me as much as she could.”
“Stalleon was a very hard worker,” says Ford. “He also knew that he was turning 21 soon, so he and I went into overdrive. There was a point where his birthday was very near and I couldn’t imagine him not getting his diploma. I believed in him and he was self-motivated.”
”He was always respectful and a man of his word,” she continued. “I am really happy that he got the chance to graduate and accomplish this goal for himself. He truly owned his own success here at the academy.”