E.L. Connally Gave Me a Gifted Child

Ronald Lawton III was the sole student to pass the gifted test at E.L. Connally Elementary School

As a parent, you always want your child(ren) to succeed in life. You want the best for them in school, in sports, and in life. My son has been a student at E.L. Connally Elementary for the past two years. When he started Pre-K at the school, he struggled academically. This came as a shocker to me because he had participated in a half-day school program at a local church the previous year and I thought that he had done pretty well learning the basics. His teachers, after school representatives, and administrators worked extremely hard to get him up to speed. I loved how they got everyone involved to make sure that they were looking out for his best interest. Granted, I recognize that Connally was one of the schools recognized in the APS cheating scandal, but you will never be able to tell. The interim principal, teachers, and administrators at this school do a great job to ensure that every child gets the attention and educational experience he/her might need.

That being said, I know that you will understand my joy when I got a surprise call from the school at my job. They called and said,” We have good news!” We wanted to let you know that out of all the children at the school tested for gifted, yours was the only one that passed. Hearing the news brought me to tears. I was so happy to know that my son was not only incredibly smart but that he had been able to achieve an implausible turnaround from the previous year. Yet, I really had no doubt. As the former PTA President for the school, I understand and see the commitment from the school. The school’s motto is “The Year of the Tiger…Meeting and Exceeding Expectations” and they live this motto. They have done everything that they could possibly do in this past year to make sure that the cheating scandal was behind them and they showed the community that the school is more than what you read in the papers.

Sometimes we always hear what is going wrong in our schools or in our neighborhoods but we forget about all of those things that are successful or that make us proud. I am a proud mom for what my son has been able to accomplish but I have to acknowledge all of those people that have been part of his development. Just to name a few: I have Mrs. Andrews, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Rhenwrick, Ms. Lewis, Mrs. Dix, Mrs. Sabrina, Ms. Hall. There are just way too many to name and it is a home, family, school, and community effort to get this type of achievement. My son has aspirations to play professional soccer and to go to Ivy League schools like MIT. I believe that he will accomplish it all. I am proud to know that he has the best support team around him. So as they would say, I am a Connally Tiger now hear my roar!

Ronald Lawton, III., your family is very proud of you and you make us proud every day.


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Shirley Anne Cruz May 17, 2012 at 12:42 PM
I knew I was going to forget a couple of people. Ms. Alexander and Mrs. MacFarland, his pre-k teachers were instrumental in his success.
Wesley Mapp May 19, 2012 at 10:26 AM
Wow! This story will be shared. But mom please don't leave the fact that you work with your child out of the equation. Looking at your writing I know you do! I understand you are being humble, but Connally and Madam Cruz delivered a scholar. How? Hard work!
Shirley Anne Cruz May 19, 2012 at 01:55 PM
@Wesley, thank you so much for the kind words. It has definitely been an educational endeavor that requires much committment from everyone involved, including myself. I am and will continue to be my son's biggest cheerleader.


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