PHILADELPHIA, PA—Eighth-grader Tyquaill Thomas has attended 16 schools since kindergarten, but when he walks through the doors at Dobson Elementary School in Philadelphia, he knows he has finally found a school that he looks forward to attending every day.
It’s been a long road and Thomas has overcome many obstacles. These days, he feels a great sense of pride about his recent academic accomplishments, and great dedication to both his school and the community.
“This school holds you up to the best standards possible,” says Thomas, whose road to success began when the First In Math program was introduced just before winter break. A contest was presented to the students—the top 15 scorers over break would have lunch with Interim Principal Marco Zanoni.
Before leaving AMY Northwest, Zanoni led that school to National Top-Ten status within the First In Math program. Zanoni accepted the interim position at Dosbon ES in October, 2015.
“Marco is back in action, and it’s great to see how he always puts children first—I love this guy,” says former educator and First In Math Ambassador Cred Dobson, who has worked with Zanoni in some capacity for more than 30 years. “Marco likes to meet, talk to and get to know each of the students in the school individually—that is why he does these things like this.”
“The students always enjoy contests,” says school secretary Michelle Cohen. The contest was indeed motivating for Thomas, who set a personal goal to be #1 in the First In Math program by the end of Winter Break.
"Mathematics is not about numbers, equations; it is about understanding,” says Thomas, who says he enjoys the challenges offered on the First In Math site.
“This young man’s success is somewhat of a personal point of pride—if you only could understand the back story of this amazing kid,” says Zanoni. “I was delighted to see that his FIM luncheon—and his achievement—was celebrated by his peers all over the school.”
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