Glenfield Middle School in Montclair, New Jersey, is the anchor school for the south end in Montclair. The school is divided into houses, each of whose students keep the same core teachers from sixth through eighth grade. Tourrie Moses was a highly promising student, inquisitive, engaged, and eager to learn when he entered Glenfield in the sixth grade. Friendly and well-liked by his teachers and classmates, he was elected president of the student council by eighth grade. But what happened to Moses — once considered bound for a top college by his teachers — in the ensuing years causing him to spend more time in the streets than in school? Why is Dan Gill, a teacher at Glenfield for more than 40 years, still haunted by Moses, the student he calls “the one that got away”?
The One That Got Away tells the story of Moses, one of thousands of at-risk youths in America today and examines the issues of education and familial and communal responsibility for at-risk children.