Those who have survived post-secondary education can understand “the struggle,” but for 12-year-old Caleb Anderson, college classes are his middle school. Young Anderson is a sophomore at Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, Georgia, and is currently studying aerospace engineering. His parents became aware of his little bright mind at a very early age.
What We Know:
- According to his family, Caleb started to imitate his mother’s speech at only four weeks old, some infants can’t do this until a couple of months later. At nine months old, he had already learned more than 250 words in American Sign Language. Fast forward to the age of four, he was already reading at an accelerated level.
“I was getting my master’s in education so I knew that there was something special about that,” Claire Anderson, Caleb’s mother told USA Today.
- Caleb’s plans after Chattahoochee Technical only consist of continuing his education at other schools. He wishes to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and later the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT). One of his biggest long term goals includes getting an internship with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a dream he has developed over the span of his short educational career already.
- Instead of thinking about the next video game or toy he wanted to get, Caleb mentioned he had his sights on space since has was a toddler. “I figured that aerospace engineering would be the best path,” he said.
- Caleb’s mother has stated that due to his incredible intellect, she feared a small number of things such as his sense of self. She noted how he didn’t need to study or get help with many subjects other kids struggled with. While other parents wouldn’t see this as an issue, Claire said that she “didn’t like the character that was building in him”.
- Moving forward, his parents decided there were other things that needed attention rather than what if’s. Claire is a former teacher and her husband, Kobi, is an IT salesman. Over time, their initial worries faded and they started to teach him things books couldn’t, such as “compassion, kindness, looking for the good in others”.
When Caleb’s mother noticed that he quickly outpaced the work of his grade levels, she was concerned that a lack of a challenge could be holding him back. She now advocates to other parents to pay mind to their kids’ educations, even as early as she did with her son. Caleb has two siblings, 7-year-old Hannah and 8-year-old Aaron, who are also just as gifted in their studies.
Florida Teacher Charged with 408 Counts of Child Porn Possession
Shawn Fitzgerald, a 46-year-old Florida high school teacher, soccer coach, and church youth leader, has been charged with 408 counts of child pornography possession. Fitzgerald has taught and coached the boy’s soccer team at Lakeland High School since 2014. He was also the youth director at First United Methodist Church in Bartow.
What We Know:
- Investigators were given a tip from the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children, which lead them to find multiple pornographic images on his cell phone.
- The images were reportedly hidden in a fake calculator app that also acted as a vault to conceal explicit content.
- Polk County Sherriff Grady Judd said in a news conference the images found didn’t seem to be locally produced, and it does not appear that Fitzgerald harmed any children himself. But, Judd mentioned more charges might be pending.
- Amongst the images was a young child proposed to be 10 months old child being sexually abused by adults and engaging in provocative acts with other minors.
- In a statement with a CBS affiliate, Lakewood High Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd stated, “We are shocked and disgusted by these charges.”
“As educators, we are entrusted with the well-being of our young people every day. It is our sacred duty to set the highest moral example in our schools and our communities. … We are cooperating fully with the investigation to ensure justice is served, and we are in the process of terminating this employee.”
As of Sunday, it is unclear if Fitzgerald sought legal representation. He is currently being held at Polk County Jail and is being held on a $2 million bail.
Virginia Professor Resigns After Facebook Post Calls Biden Supporters Anti-Christian
A Virginia college educator quit, officials said Monday, after he wrote on social media that President-elect Joe Biden supporters are “ignorant, anti-American and anti-Christian.”
What We Know:
- Virginia Wesleyan University Campus, a private liberal arts school in Virginia Beach, stated that Paul Ewell, management, business, and economics professor, had quit. He had earlier stepped down as dean of Virginia Wesleyan’s Global Campus.
- In the now-deleted FB post, Ewell wrote, “If you were ignorant anti-American and anti-Christian enough to vote for Biden, I really don’t want to be your social friend on social media. I wouldn’t hang out with you in real life, I don’t want to hang out with you virtually either. You have corrupted the election. You have corrupted our youth. You have corrupted our country. I have standards, and you don’t meet them. Please remove yourself.”
- President Donald Trump increased Ewell’s remarks when he retweeted a story about the professor where the “ignorant, anti-American, and anti-Christian” comments were in the original post. The president called the description “Progress!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020
- Ewell stated earlier to Wavy, “I have many Democrat friends, and I want to apologize for saying that I didn’t want to be friends with them and for calling them names,” he told the station. “I am genuinely sorry for letting my anger get the best of me.”
- Regarding the post, the University issued a statement just days afterward, saying, “These views and opinions are expressly the individual’s own. Civic engagement and religious freedom are at the core of the University’s values, and we remain an inclusive and caring community that empowers meaningful relationships through listening, understanding, and communication.”
Ewell stated to Wavy, he wrote the post in anger and that he regrets that he had set a poor example in that post of what a Christian should be.
Ex-Fencing Coach, Telecom CEO Face Charges in $1.5 Million Bribery Scheme to Get Kids into Harvard
Peter Brand, the former head fencing coach at Harvard University, and Jie “Jack” Zhao, a telecommunications executive were arrested on Monday in connections to an alleged bribery scheme. According to the federal authorities, both men devised a financial scheme involving Harvard University’s fencing team.
What We Know:
- According to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Massachusetts, Brand and Zhao are facing charges of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery.
- Brand allegedly recruited Zhao’s two children into Harvard’s fencing program in exchange for securing admissions. Zhao provided $1.5 million in briberies. Brand’s home in Needham, southwest of Boston, was purchased by Zhao for $1 million which is $440,000 above its accessed value, according to NBC News.
- According to a criminal complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, 5 months after the sale of Brand’s home, Zhao’s younger son received a letter from Harvard stating he would likely be accepted as a fencing recruit.
- NBC News reported back in 2015 that Zhao allegedly made multiple payments to Brand covering school loans and tuition at Penn State University. Documents show that Zhao paid for Brand’s water sewer and mortgage bills, and gave him a $34,563 car loan. These payments coincide with the admission of Zhao’s oldest son to Harvard’s fencing program back in 2013.
- Zhao also contributed $1 million to a fencing charity which then sent $100,000 to a foundation that was recently created by Band and his wife.
- Brand was fired by Harvard in 2019 after the Boston Globe exposed the purchase of Brand’s home. The athletic director stated Brand violated the university’s conflict of interest policy.
- On Monday Brand’s lawyer gave a statement describing Zhao’s children as “academic and fencing stars” and mentioned that his client had done nothing wrong.
- Bill Weinreb, Zhao’s lawyer states that his client continues to deny the charges pending against him and “will vigorously contest them in court”.
Similar to Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman who were caught in the investigation known as Operation Varsity Blues where wealthy parents ensured placement for their children in elite schools. Although the charges against Brand and Zhao have no connection to that investigation, there are similarities.
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