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Chadwick Short

TCAH student Chaddy fencing

Chadwick (Chaddy) Short II is a graduate from Texas Connections Academy @ Houston (TCAH). He lives with his family in Rockwall, Texas. Chaddy excelled as a TCAH student, earning better grades than before and feeling less stressed because he was able to balance academics with his training and travel schedule for competitive fencing.

Chaddy began fencing in June 2011. In his first year, he became ranked third in the state of Texas and forty-first in the USA Fencing National Rolling Points for his division. In his first three years, he competed in over sixty-five tournaments, including fifteen national circuit events and six regional circuit events. Chaddy has medaled thirty-two times, including seven gold and eleven silver medals. He has also qualified for the USA Fencing National Championships in 2012 and 2014. Chaddy has fencing practice for three hours, six nights a week, and travels to tournaments about twice a month.

Chaddy previously attended traditional public school, but he transferred to TCAH to pursue his goal of becoming a competitive fencer. He hopes to fence in the Olympics someday. Connections Academy helped Chaddy find the extra hours in his day that he needed for his sport. He shares more below.

“I first started at Texas Connections Academy so that I could easily travel to national and regional circuit fencing tournaments without having to miss too much school. I had two sisters already in Connections Academy, so I knew it would give me the flexibility I was looking for. I liked the idea that I could work on my schoolwork at my pace, without having to wait for the rest of the class.

With the exception of large projects, I normally finished my school days in a fraction of the time I would finish in brick-and-mortar schools. I finally had some downtime before I went to practice. This extra time also allowed me to focus on my fencing without stressing out about having homework after practice. I no longer felt rushed to fit everything into the day. I usually do not get home from practice until after 10 p.m., so I liked that I could wake up and start school at 9 a.m., which is later than most students. I mostly enjoy that I don’t have to get up at 6 a.m. to catch the bus like my friends do.

Another advantage I found at TCAH is that I did not have to be physically in one location in order to do my schoolwork. I am able to travel all around the country and compete in tournaments that I would not have been able to compete in because I would have school the next day. While other families were rushing to get home, sometimes having to forfeit their events to catch a flight, I was able to chill and unwind by the almost empty hotel pools.

My grades also improved once I started with Connections Academy. I went from struggling to get C’s, with lots of homework, to becoming an honor roll student and a National Honor Society member. The curriculum allowed me to review lessons and lectures as much as I needed to make sure I understood the material before I had to take a test. I loved the multiple resources in my lessons. The videos made learning much more interesting and are just like watching the Discovery Channel. I feel like I have a much deeper understanding of the topics we were studying.

I like how the LiveLesson ® sessions let me interact and see my teachers and classmates. I knew that I could pick up the phone or email my teachers anytime I needed help or had a question. I was no longer distracted by other kids in the classroom when I was trying to get my work finished. I could get all my work done during school time without worrying about homework. The field trips were a great way to get together with the friends I’ve made through TCAH. Having stayed in the public school system, I knew that all my high school credits are accredited and will be easily accepted by colleges.

When I first heard about TCAH’s Sports Talent Network, I was excited that fencing and other individual sports could be recognized in school. While I had been active in football and honors band at my last school, I didn’t have the opportunity to pursue a high level of competitive fencing. I knew I was making the right choice in changing schools when I had this extra opportunity to advance.

Since being accepted into the Sports Talent Network, I was recognized for my successes and had the opportunity to earn a letter. After having been in the Sports Talent Network for two years, I have learned that it is more than just a nice point on a college application. I have gained so much insight into how to become an elite athlete. I have met Olympians, professional sports players, and even a talent agent through the LiveLesson sessions. I was able to communicate with other student athletes who have the same scenarios of balancing school and sports. I have been fortunate to have several opportunities to speak in front of larger groups of people through Sports Talent Network, which has increased my confidence when meeting new people as I travel throughout the United States. I truly appreciate all of the amazing experiences this elite academy has given me.”

In addition to fencing, Chaddy loves to play video games, travel, and try local foods when he visits a new place.

I first started at Texas Connections Academy so that I could easily travel to national and regional circuit fencing tournaments without having to miss too much school. I knew it would give me the flexibility I was looking for. My grades have also improved since starting with Connections Academy. I went from struggling to get C’s, with lots of homework, to becoming an honor roll student and a National Honor Society member.
— Chaddy