Darvon’s grandmother, Diane, was concerned. Not just for Darvon’s well-being, but for the safety of those around him. Darvon showed very little motivation to achieve academic success—and his temper caused major problems. His severe lack of self-esteem also had Diane worried.

Diane would try to work with Darvon at home, and there were times that it seemed he might be making some progress. But as soon as he would get back to school, the same problems would arise. The hair-trigger temper and the urge to fight others made Diane realize that something had to change. The change happened with Darvon’s enrollment at Sierra School of Antioch.

An Immediate Difference

Once Darvon settled into Sierra School of Antioch, his grandmother noticed a difference almost immediately. The way Sierra School of Antioch handled the issues was refreshing. If his temper flared during class, a teacher would take him aside and talk to him. Rather than scold or punish him, staff worked with Darvon to find out why he reacted the way he did and explained that fighting was not the solution to any of his problems.

Diane shared one very poignant and touching anecdote illustrating how this approach helped Darvon. “He told me how he was about to go off on a student, but as soon as he saw one of his favorite staff members, who was instrumental in his progress, he quickly realized he was in the wrong,” Diane recounted. “He said he just couldn’t disrespect her because she had told him she believed in him to do the right thing.”

A Salute to Sierra School Staff

Diane was relieved and impressed by how the staff at Sierra School of Antioch learned how to work with Darvon, leading to a behavior transformation. Upon his transfer to the school, she worried that the staff wouldn’t understand him as well as she did…to her surprise, they handled Darvon much better than she ever could have imagined. “I can truly say that it wasn’t just one or two staff members,” explained Diane. “All the staff played a role in Darvon’s success.”

Darvon progressed so well throughout his time at Sierra School that he became something of a pioneer and role model to other students — Darvon was the first student to successfully transition back to a mainstream school setting and graduate from his local high school. Whether Darvon realized it nor not, these events created a seismic shift within the Sierra School of Antioch as other students witnessed his accomplishment, admired it, and tried to follow in his footsteps. Creating that type of dynamic and environment within the school is simply priceless, and Darvon attributes much of his success to the school’s staff.

In fact, Diane commented that he still talks glowingly about Sierra School staff—even though he transitioned from the school and has since become a proud father. “If you ask Darvon who inspired him the most, he’ll start mentioning names,” Diane said. “By the time he is finished, he has named just about everyone on the staff!”

The New Darvon

Now, Diane says that Darvon is more mature, accepts responsibility for his actions, and takes more time to think through situations rather than jumping to conclusions. He realizes that his education at Sierra School of Antioch has played, and continues to play, a major role in the way his life has changed for the better. Diane mentioned how often Darvon has commented how different things would be without Sierra School’s intervention. “He told me, ‘I probably would be in jail, or worse…dead.’”

A Big Thank You From The Family

The change in Darvon’s behavior has been so profound that Diane remains effusive in her praise for the teachers and staff at Sierra School of Antioch. “I would encourage any parent who is considering enrolling their child at Sierra School of Antioch to do so,” Diane said. “It was the best thing that I could have done for my grandson.”

And Darvon himself shares his gratitude: “I thank the staff at school for not giving up on me.”

At the end of the day, it’s sentiments like the ones both Diane and Darvon shared that make the work of Sierra School staff so rewarding and worthwhile.

I would encourage any parent who is considering enrolling their child at Sierra School of Antioch to do so. It was the best thing that I could have done for my grandson.

— Diane, Darvon’s Grandmother

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