A Teacher Made the Difference

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May 28, 2010
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September 7, 2010
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It’s been eight years since Thomas left Discovery Academy. Today he is on a full scholarship at Princeton University, working on a PhD in chemistry as he conducts cancer research. His mother says Elaine Layosa is part of the reason why.

 Elaine’s been teaching at Discovery Academy for more than 15 years. She’s touched the lives of hundreds of students, but none more so than Thomas.

 Thomas’s mother, Nicole, says her son was depressed and angry. He struggled with substance abuse. “I’m a nurse and I just knew he was going to die if we didn’t do something,” she recalled in a 2008 interview. “We were desperate for help and couldn’t find any.”

After an unsuccessful experience at a California program she turned to Discovery Academy.

Discovery started with the basics. “They really paid attention to his exercise, nutrition and his school work. They got him refocused on what exactly were the issues,” she says.

Nicole says Elaine’s science class helped Thomas develop a love of chemistry. She arranged for him to do more difficult Advanced Placement work and encouraged his progress in other subjects as well. When Thomas left Discovery, he took a high school diploma with him and a new realization that he was good, really good, at chemistry.

 Since then Thomas has earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees working in organic chemistry. Now he’s hoping to help cancer patients through his work at Princeton.

 Congratulations to Thomas, his family, and the entire academic faculty at Discovery Academy. Your pursuit of excellence touches many lives.