The Ah Now Family
Dean Ah Now, 13, relishes in solving tough math problems and doesn’t back down easily. His mother, Mrs. Lee, saw his potential in pre-kindergarten. “He was outside playing basketball with his friends,” she says, “keeping track of the scores in his head.” For enrichment, she began doing workbooks with him, until she had her second child, Dylan. Unable to give Dean the same attention, she enrolled him in the Priddy math program.
“He was in third grade, doing long division, says Mrs. Lee. “He needed to be taught from a higher level.” Mr. Priddy, founding director of Priddy Learning Academy, worked with him twice a week and assigned daily homework. By the end of third grade, Dean was a more focused, attentive student, who showed responsibility for his schoolwork.
In 6th grade, Dean set a goal: to attend the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. He had attended the junior camp as a 4th and 5th grader, and had also competed in math contests, but this was his biggest academic challenge yet. Dean worked closely with Dr. Liu (known to her students as Fangjie), delving into the complex topics that comprise the SCAT. He scored high, was accepted to CTY, and was invited to the CTY Grand Ceremony, an honor based on test scores that fall in the top 10%.
Now in 8th grade at Millburn Middle School, Dean knows what needs to be done and does it. He most recently made the Millburn Middle School (MMS) team to compete in Mathcounts, a prestigious series of math contests. The team will represent MMS in local, state, and national competitions.
The academic discipline instilled in him at PLA has paved a pathway of opportunities for Dean to explore as he continues to discover himself as a student. “I know math is important,” Dean says. “It will help me get into college and beyond.”
An ambitious, bright young man, Dean knows the meaning of hard work. He’s been playing baseball and piano since he was six years old. While committed to sports and music, the focus of his life is academics. How has he been able to do it? “The adaptability of the Priddy program to Dean’s needs has allowed Dean to blossom,” says Mrs. Lee. “It works for us.”
There is no doubt Dean wants to succeed. In an environment of his peers, whether at a competition, at PLA, in school, or at CTY, Dean sees where he is and where he wants to be. In baseball, Dean plays outfield. Not only does outfield require great arm strength, but also a keen eye—one that plays for the win. Watchful and strategic, Dean is able to establish and meet his goals. A parent’s role may be to kindle the flame of learning, but once it’s lit, it burns for more. “I don’t think we’d be where we are today without Priddy Learning Academy,” says Mrs. Lee.
Carly Susser is the Communications Assistant and Writing Coach at Priddy Learning Academy. To share your story, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org