January 25, 2023


Student Athletes from West Side Leadership Academy are 

Changing the Game through Academic Excellence; Sportsmanship

(Gary, IND) – The Gary Community School Corporation heightened focus on academics is changing the game for student athletes. Now more than ever, scholars are striving for excellence with a total of 45 students holding a GPA of 3.5 or greater this quarter. This trend of academic excellence among student athletes is setting a new standard for the community and changing the expectations of athletes.  

“Without question, our students are intelligent,” said Athletic Director Robert Lee. “They just have to be challenged and held accountable, which is what the coaching staff has strived to instill.”

For example, West Side Leadership Academy’s 2022 graduating class, valedictorian and star athlete Jaylen Washington went on to play basketball at the University of North Carolina. Senior athlete De’Eric Mister holds a 4.0 GPA and recently committed to play football for Minnesota.

And if raising the bar academically wasn’t enough, the players and teams have been consistently acknowledged for their sportsmanship.

Recent reports submitted to the IHSAA offer the following accolades:

 “These young men and the coaches should be proud of how they represented their school and community,” said Thomas Hansing of Ben Davis H.S. in Indianapolis. “The entire team was respectful… they respected their coach, but most importantly, they respected the officiating crew and the game.”

Each athletic team in the district has study tables, mentorships, and support from the coaching staff and community. The launch of the booster club last fall has allowed the teams to receive donated meals from local businesses and organizations before games and when they travel. Through sponsorships and the continuous support of the community, District officials are claiming a strong and bright future for its student athletes.

“These kinds of academic victories come with commitment and consistency by all parties,” said GCSC Manager Dr. Paige McNulty. “Teachers, administrators, coaching staff and parents have come together in the name of supporting student success on and off the field.”

Listed below are the athletes from West Side Leadership Academy who earned a 3.5 or higher GPA for the 2nd quarter:


Heaven Anderson

Regan Bandy

Lala Bell

Jalacion Brown

Halle Bradley

Justin Cain

Caleb Cheatham

Joseph Coburn

Bryce Cooper

Chenyze DeBerry

Nyanna Fillilove

Milton Green

Ineidra Guyton-Williams

Takiyah Hearst

Jamar Henderson

Reginald Hinton

Julian Holmes

Ariel Johnson

Asia Johnson

Trent Jones

Antwan Jordan

Jasmine King

Laniah King Reeves

Ta’Veon Lee

De’Eric Mister

Jayden Rodgers

Kaleb Schultz

Terrance Schultz

Noah Simmons

Mariah Swain

Kaniya Upshaw

Courtney Watson

Quynci Williams

Ta’Nyia Williamson

Venay Wright


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Pictured are posters of Lady Cougars in the WSLA gymnasium. 
Pictured is senior LeBarron Burton, Jr. during a senior night for football this past fall.