Skip Navigation
Suggest a story
Image for These Middle School students have turned their lives around!
Congratulations to our middle school Turnaround Achievement Award winners

These Middle School students have turned their lives around!

April 30, 2019 - Student Success

“I watched this child act out in anger every day.”

Math Teacher, Michelle Roberts, from Woodson Leadership Academy stood in front of a packed room, clearly emotional, talking about a young woman standing right over her left shoulder.

The girl’s name is Cassidy Richardson, and she was chosen as Woodson’s Turnaround Achievement Award winner of the year.

Slowly, and with detail, Ms. Roberts talked about how, on the first day of her 6th grade year, Cassidy walked into her classroom, swept her arm across her desk—throwing everything to the floor—and stated very loudly that she didn’t want to be there.

In the days after that, Cassidy would walk into class, keeping her hand on the doorframe, refusing to walk in the room.

However, slowly, Ms. Roberts said she gained Cassidy’s trust, and over time Cassidy began running TO math class instead of AWAY from it.

At this point in the story, Ms. Roberts turned to look at Cassidy and said, “You came back—and every day I look at you and I’m so proud.”

Now, at the end of her 8th grade year, Cassidy is on honor roll, she beat the district average on math exams, and she has become Ms. Roberts’ student assistant.

The room burst into applause.

Ms. Roberts ended her speech by saying, “Cassidy, you are by far the biggest change I have ever seen.”

Every school has a story similar to this one… and these students were all honored Monday morning at the Turnaround Achievement Award ceremony.

They received applause, a plaque and passes from PinChasers, who sponsored the event.

But, most important of all, they saw the joy and pride in the eyes of their loved ones as their names were called and their stories were told.

Congratulations to all of our Hillsborough County Public Schools Turnaround Achievement Award winners.