Skip to content
SA Together Again: We’re back in classrooms and taking learning to new levels!

Mission Possible

Stories and insights on excellent education.

How A Teacher Turned Disappointment Into Triumph For One Scholar

Dear NYT Editor,

I would like to see the Times spend a few days at Success Academy Williamsburg, where my daughter attends fourth grade, so a reporter could see the magic that happens there daily.

Every day, my daughter comes home and we discuss her day at school. She always has a story for me, and recently she told me an inspiring story. In her grade, students have been taking assessments that measure their academic growth. She told me how well she scored on a recent assessment, but that a classmate teared up with disappointment because she did not do as well as she had expected. I asked my daughter how she responded; she said her teacher, Mr. Stanford, who is amazing, praised the girl’s effort, hard work, and commitment to excellence. He did not belittle her. He did not reprimand her. Instead, he empathized with her and explained that her growth and improvement were in fact a success. He told her how proud he was of her and that she should be proud of herself. He asked if she realized how much she has grown academically and when she answered yes, he clapped for her. My daughter said that she and her classmates then joined him in clapping for her.

Mr. Stanford took a moment of disappointment and vulnerability — something that we all feel every now and again, even as adults — and turned it into a moment of confidence, self-awareness, and accomplishment. This is the Success Academy I know, and the Success Academy I wish you knew.

This is my daughter’s third school; she previously attended a Catholic school and a magnet public school — both outstanding — but Success Academy has been the best experience for her. Her teachers are phenomenal. They are invested in her almost as much as I am. They call to follow up when she is sick and they call to tell me when she did something amazing. It’s more than teaching; it’s co-parenting. The staff is like an adoptive second family. They are selfless people who truly love my child unconditionally and want her to succeed in life, both emotionally and academically.

I hope that when you write your next article you remember my daughter and this story.

Best Regards,
Isha Rodriguez-Aviles
SA Williamsburg Parent



Written by Isha Rodriguez-Aviles March 7, 2016


Related posts

“Happy Children Learn Better” – An SA parent reflects on the return to campus

October 7, 2021 Success Academy

Success Academy reopened its doors to scholars across the city in August, safely ushering students back into the classroom after an unprecedented 2020-21 school year. To keep our scholars safe — and learning — it’s more important than ever that we work together with families and guardians to ensure everyone in our community is on... Read more

Back to Basics: 3 Ways Parents Can Help Scholars Adjust to In-Person Learning

October 4, 2021 Success Academy

The school year is well underway, and it is so exciting to be together again in our classrooms. We love seeing scholars connect face-to-face and participate in hands-on science labs, team sports, and theatre productions alike. Nevertheless, we know returning to a new or unfamiliar learning space can be a challenging transition, and scholars might... Read more

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

September 29, 2021 Success Academy

The deadly pandemic that forced children to isolate and learn remotely has only deepened painful issues of inequity. All around us, there is profound learning loss and lack of access to equitable resources. At Success Academy, we have a special obligation to get back on track and ensure that our students realize their full potential,... Read more

Sign Up


Keep in touch with occasional updates delivered to your in box.

Enroll your child

We’re now accepting K-4 applications for the 2021-2022 school year.

Work with us

Build your career while making an impact at Success Academy.