For some reason this student drew Mr. Kornegay's attention like no other.
Carlos had been a bit of a troublemaker in most classes, and honestly, had started off the year fitting precisely into the expectations he had been given. As the year progressed, however, Jonathan began to notice glimmers that Carlos desired more than the life he had been given and given himself. As the teacher began to notice these glimmers of humanity, the student warmed up to him revealing even more of the humanity that he tended to keep hidden from others.
Mr. Kornegay began to focus on this student and in doing so began to turn into one of those teachers whom students recall years later as being the reason they turned their lives around and became doctors, successful businessmen, or the first in their family to earn a college degree or even finish high school.
Suddenly, the success rate of students in Mr. Kornegay's classes shot up. His students rarely scored lower than an A in his classes, but those students performed so well in their other classes and on standardized tests that it became obvious that this was no product of grade inflation. After five years of teaching, Mr. Kornegay was finally a teacher. Students loved him. Parents loved him. His administrators loved him.
Oddly, despite this positive turn of events, Mr. Kornegay's lost smile did not return.
To be continued...