When Scott Shirey decided to open Delta College Preparatory School in one of the poorest counties in the nation, he went door-to-door explaining the school concept to families: longer school days, two Saturdays a month, and one month in the summer. Within a few weeks, he had convinced enough people to enroll 70 students in the first class of fifth graders. Since then, the school has enjoyed such success, with double-digit academic gains, that a new building has been added with three new grade levels. A high school is now in the planning stages. As school director, Mr. Shirey has raised expectations among both students and staff, emphasizing that there are no shortcuts on the path to academic excellence. At the same time, he has provided students with numerous impactful learning opportunities as a social studies teacher, including audiovisual activities inside the classroom and field trips to Williamsburg, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and Utah. Believing that a child's ability to learn should not be based on race, social standing or environment, Mr. Shirey has created a monument to that belief in the school that he built. In the process he has created a brighter future for hundreds of children.