WINGSPAN

  • Winter break Dec. 24 - Jan. 7

  • First semester ends Dec. 21

Classic class features youngest student

Despite+only+being+in+the+8th+grade%2C+Ashley+Chen+has+already+gotten+a+head+start+on+high+school+as+she+is+taking+on+the+Humanities+class+with+freshmen+and+sophomores.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Classic class features youngest student

Despite only being in the 8th grade, Ashley Chen has already gotten a head start on high school as she is taking on the Humanities class with freshmen and sophomores.

Despite only being in the 8th grade, Ashley Chen has already gotten a head start on high school as she is taking on the Humanities class with freshmen and sophomores.

Trisha Dasgupta

Despite only being in the 8th grade, Ashley Chen has already gotten a head start on high school as she is taking on the Humanities class with freshmen and sophomores.

Trisha Dasgupta

Trisha Dasgupta

Despite only being in the 8th grade, Ashley Chen has already gotten a head start on high school as she is taking on the Humanities class with freshmen and sophomores.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Confusing schedules, foreign halls, scary seniors.

The first day of high school is enough to intimidate even the most confident of freshmen, so it’s tough to imagine how eighth grader Ashley Chen felt when her time to brave the first day came a year early.

Taking part in an advancement program that allowed her to skip sixth grade English, Chen has extended experience being the youngest person in the room.

“I didn’t have a lot of time to be nervous about high school,” Chen said. “I was kind of shocked, I guess, but I was okay with it. It was just going to be a big change.”

I didn’t have a lot of time to be nervous about high school. I was kind of shocked, I guess, but I was okay with it. It was just going to be a big change,”

— Ashley Chen

After taking an advancement test in the sixth grade, she sat in class with seventh graders. Then in seventh grade, she sat in class with eighth graders. Now in eighth grade at Fowler Middle School she’s sitting with ninth and tenth graders as the youngest student enrolled in Humanities II.

“I was a little concerned that she wouldn’t be able to keep up with the workload and also be able to transition back and forth between her home campus and here,” pre-AP English teacher Elizabeth Evans said. “But despite the fact that I was concerned in the beginning, [Ashley] has really adjusted well, and is doing very well in the class.”

However, Chen has long since proved herself capable of keeping up with her elder classmates, as her road to Humanities started in fifth grade.

I was a little concerned that she wouldn’t be able to keep up with the workload and also be able to transition back and forth between her home campus and here. But despite the fact that I was concerned in the beginning, [Ashley] has really adjusted well, and is doing very well in the class,”

— Pre- AP English teacher Elizabeth Evans

“The counselor in fifth grade was kind of like, ‘you know you guys are kind of good in this area’ and asked us to take a test,” Chen said. “It wasn’t like a big deal or anything. It was just like if you make it, you make it, if you don’t, you don’t.”

Out of the three students who were asked to take the test, Chen was the only one who passed. And while she may not have been nervous about entering high school this year, that certainly wasn’t the case back in sixth grade.

“I remember walking in and being like, oh my god,” Chen said. “I was all, ‘why are these people so big’ and just so shocked.”

Fortunately, her nerves were anticipated by her teacher, who worked to make a pleasant experience for Chen.

I was hyper aware and diligent in ensuring that she was in a safe environment,” seventh grade ILA teacher Rene Madden said via email. “I believe that because the makeup of our class is with students and peers who process and think in an heightened ability, that there was less concern for such nonsense as bullying.”

Evans seemed to share these beliefs about bullying in gifted classrooms.

“I really wasn’t as concerned with her socially, especially since she was coming into a G.T. program.” Evans said. “We tend to kind of support one another.”

So while Chen doesn’t have to worry about teasing, she admits that there are other struggles in taking the class.

“I’m in band, athletics, and Girl Scouts,” Chen said. “So sometimes when you have a lot of stuff with you, and you get back to the middle school, you have an instrument, athletics bag, and your backpack. It’s tough because you can’t take it all to class.”

Yet, Madden believes that these extracurriculars might be beneficial to Chen, who otherwise wouldn’t have interactions with students her age.

Considering that Ashley still had classes with her 6th grade peers, I don’t think that she necessarily missed anything,” Madden said via email. “Since she was able to still have peer interaction with 6th graders, I think that she had the best of both worlds.”

Leave a Comment

Wingspan intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. Wingspan does not allow anonymous comments and requires the person's first and last name along with a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. To see our full Comment Policy, visit libertywingspan.com/about/

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Classic class features youngest student

    Campus Life

    Tis’ the season to dress jolly

  • Classic class features youngest student

    Campus Life

    Cookie exchange makes teachers’ days sweeter

  • Classic class features youngest student

    Campus Life

    Free babysitting courtesy of StuCo

  • Classic class features youngest student

    Campus Life

    Diversity on display in junior’s photoshoot

  • Classic class features youngest student

    Campus Life

    Baking up holiday spirit for teachers

  • Classic class features youngest student

    Campus Life

    #LibertyLearns as teachers try to earn the golden hashtag

  • Classic class features youngest student

    Campus Life

    Snapshots brings school diversity in focus

  • Classic class features youngest student

    Campus Life

    PSAT scores arrive for sophomores and juniors

  • Classic class features youngest student

    Campus Life

    Visa lottery lands family in Frisco

  • Classic class features youngest student

    Campus Life

    New club seeks to expand knowledge of Chinese culture

Navigate Right
The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas
Classic class features youngest student