Teen comes long way since taping himself to teacher's chair

Tanya McBride had only left the room for a few minutes when one of her students, Alex Chase, took a roll of masking tape and taped himself to her chair. He then posted an image to Facebook.

"Alex kept me on my toes," said the resource teacher at Leo Hayes High School.

The duo didn't get off to a good start.

The first time they met, Alex was in Grade 9 and was kicked out of class for talking. McBride met him in a hallway.

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"I said, 'You wouldn't happen to be Alex Chase would you?' He turned around and looked at me and [said] 'What's it to you?'"

Looking back, Chase, who is now in Grade 12, was angry and often struggled in school.

"I was mad, I just didn't care and wanted to be left alone," he said. "I struggled everyday in class."

Over the years, McBride spent time working with Alex to help him keep up in school. She admits, there were times she wasn't so sure he would get his Grade 12 diploma. 

"He seemed like he was pretty angry with the world at the time," she said.

Now, three years later, Alex will be getting more than just his high school diploma. He'll also be receiving an award at the Turnaround Achievement Awards in Fredericton on Wednesday night. The ceremony is to recognize students who turn their struggles into lifelong achievements.

"I've had so many people help me," he said. 

In the fall Alex will be attending New Brunswick Community College for plumbing. After he graduates, he hopes to get a job and support himself.

"That boy in Grade 9 wouldn't have had those goals," said McBride.

Rooting for the underdog 

Throughout his high school career, McBride would recognize there was more to Alex than people realized.

Alex struggled but always persevered in school, she said, describing the young man as focused and driven.

"He's an advocate for the underdog," McBridge said. "He has a big heart and a willingness to keep going when others would probably have given up."

McBride said Alex's change in attitude and latest award have touched many people around him, including herself.

"I think he has shown that you can overcome almost anything," she said.