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Blair the extrordinaire

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Jake Balmer, entertainment editor

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Ezra Blair would probably strike any student as a typical freshman; he’s on the short side, his voice a little on the high side. Ezra, however, is only 13 years old, having skipped multiple grades in elementary school.

After attending kindergarten and first grade in New Jersey, Ezra’s mother, Pamela, made the decision to pull him out of school so she could home-school him, which was based on a combination of his misbehavior and his academic aptitude.

“He was advanced in math and reading at a second-grade level, so he was very bored in kindergarten and acted out a lot,” Pamela said.

The misbehavior on Ezra’s part is also self-admitted.

“My buddies and I, we used to always mess around, like kindergarteners do,” Ezra said. “We were always trying to flood the bathrooms flushing the toilets and stuff.”

Pamela additionally took her and her husband, Jeffrey’s, twin daughters, Sarah and Naomi, out of school to home-school the three of them (there is a fourth sibling, Jeffrey, who left high school when he was 15 to attend Pennsylvania State University). Sarah and Naomi learned third and fourth grade curriculum while Ezra learned second through fourth, all in one year. According to Pamela, Ezra was the “speedy Gonzales” of the group, though they were all eager to learn.

“One of the benefits of them homeschooling is that they have this innate knowledge of the learning,” Jeffrey said. “The high expectations [Pamela and I] have for them, they have for themselves, and they always strive for the best, and I commend them for staying true to themselves.”

Each family member attests that the year the siblings spent being homeschooled was vital to the bond that stands between them  today. Being so close in age does offer its share of lighthearted bickering, however, often hinged on Sarah’s feminist views that Ezra pokes fun at. There are also comparisons drawn between Ezra and the twins, which Sarah does not feel is necessarily justified.

“Everyone expects me to be as smart as him and I’m kind of compared to him, and I’m kind of jealous a little,” Sarah said. “He’s really immature sometimes, but I am proud of him, and I bond with him and love him just the same.”

Jeffrey’s new job brought the family to St. Louis before Ezra’s sixth grade year; he entered Nipher Middle School when he was 9. This was not an issue according to Ezra, however, as he said he was able to make friends easily and did not find any of his classes to be particularly challenging.

Fast forward to high school, and physically the gap between Ezra and his peers has narrowed as he has grown. He plays tuba in the marching band and is manager of the freshman boys’ basketball team, and is shooting for Ivy League colleges along with his sisters; he is looking at Harvard, Naomi at Princeton and Sarah at New York University. As far as still being at least two years younger than every other KHS student, Ezra has not let it hold him back.

“I am aware of being younger, it is a part of me, but I never let it stop me from trying or doing anything,” Ezra said. “It helps me stand out.”

Though Ezra may get more attention for having skipped an extra grade, Pamela is proud of both Ezra individually and, more so, all of her children.

“Ezra is such a gifted soul, and he’s not afraid to experience new things, and everything he touches he seems to excel at,” Pamela said. “[Jeffrey and I] built a foundation for them and they’ve taken that to another level with their aspirations and dreams and goals, and I’m proud of their determination, the way they love each other and that they aren’t followers.”

About the Writer
Jake Balmer, design editor

Grade: 12

Extracurricular: Call, French club, band, jazz band, NHS

What is your favorite thing about Call?: The teamwork, ED BOARD

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