Take another look at the original sentence:

Tracy always knows the right answer in English class but is too shy to volunteer whenever Miss Simmons asks a question, Tracy's hand feels as if it weighs 1,000 pounds.

You chose to fix it the correct way:

Tracy always knows the right answer in English class but is too shy to volunteer; whenever Miss Simmons asks a question, Tracy's hand feels as if it weighs 1,000 pounds.

Tracy always knows the right answer in English class but is too shy to volunteer is a complete sentence. Whenever Miss Simmons asks a question, Tracy's hand feels ... begins the second complete sentence. You are always correct when you use a semicolon to join two complete sentences that are closely related in meaning.

Go to the next sentence.

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