PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Seniors at Manual High School in Peoria graduate on Saturday May 15, and two students say they wouldn’t get to be there if it wasn’t for their history teacher.
“Senior year, it got rough… started coming at the beginning of the year, but couldn’t come anymore so the remote learning was very tough,” said Dre’Sean Love-Ewing, 18.
Jade Davis, history teacher at Manual High School, has been working closely with Love-Ewing and Dontavis Brock, 18, since their junior year to make sure they stay on top of their schoolwork.
But when the pandemic hit last year, school went remote in March and student did not return to in-person learning until January.
“I just knew I had to stay on them, and it was a lot harder to do virtually,” said Davis.
Brock said it was difficult to stay motivated through online learning.
“It got hard.. it was a lot of distraction and stuff going on.. life, family members. I was just going down the wrong path, just breaking down.”
He said Davis made sure he came to school and stay on top of his grades by calling, texting, and even showing up at his doorstep.
“She showed me the right way, got me on the right path, stayed on my back. She helped me get to school early and on time,” Brock said.
Now, the boys are getting ready to graduate.
Brock said he plans to attend college to play football, while Love-Ewing will be majoring in business and music at Eureka College on scholarship.
“I’m ready to get that diploma, certificate.. and then another at college, and then keep going to build a big business, an empire,” Love-Ewing said.
Davis said she couldn’t be more proud to watch them “cross the grass” on Saturday, as the ceremony will be held outside.
“For them to hear their own names, and to know that hard work did pay off, not only are you graduating through a pandemic but here’s some help, too, to keep going,” she said.