I want to be president when I grow up

I’ve been doing ballet pretty much my whole life. I am at Twinkle Toes Performing Arts Company. I really like it because my dance teacher is ridiculously silly. The whole studio, we’re like one big giant family because it’s a really small studio. It’s really fun.

Do you want to continue with ballet when you’re older?

I want to be president when I grow up. I want to be in charge of the country. I feel like so much is happening and we could do so much to help, like politically and socially, because there is a lot of bad things. There’s a lot of stealing and robbing going on, and we also have people who are destroying our forests, which we need for trees and food.


I enjoy bowling

When I’m not at school I enjoy bowling. I’m in a league and I go to certain tournaments. I’ve been bowling for three years. I enjoy it when I get strikes and that satisfaction. But then if I get a lot of strikes, the pressure builds up to keep getting strikes. I also want to get better than my brother. He’s the one who taught me how to bowl. When he was 11, he wasn’t as good as I am at 11. So when I get older, he thinks I might be better than him. Both my brothers bowl. We bowl every Saturday unless there is a holiday or snow. 211 is my highest score. I think I got six strikes that time. At first I was doing bad, and then I got a lot of strikes at the end.


This is the best job ever

I truly believe I have the best job in the school system. I don’t have to do grades or discipline or plan; I get to go in and help teachers with whatever they need to do. I try to make the teachers’ jobs as easy as I can. I don’t mind doing anything they ask. I do everything from A to Z. I even put time in the cafeteria when we were short last year. If I’m helping, I’m happy. If I can make anybody’s day easier, I want to do that. Teachers have so much to do. Me running their copies or putting their games and things together, I don’t mind. My job is truly the best ever, and we have such a great school. We’re family. We are family – from admin to kindergarten, all the teachers, every staff member. I think once you’re here, even if you do move on, you’re still part of us. This is my seventh year here and hopefully I’ll have many, many more. This is the best job ever.


I’m a very happy person

I’m a very happy person! Art and singing and my friends around me and my family make me happy. My favorite class in school is art. I’m drawing a person right now. She’s happy but she’s also surprised because she got a big bear. I got a big, big bear for Christmas and I’m drawing the girl that’s surprised. Our teacher said she would teach me how to make a nose because I don’t know how to do that. She teaches us about shading and the family colors as in dark to light. Art makes me feel happy because I can sometimes express my feelings in the art.


Team Jersey Day

I wore this jersey because I like the 49ers a lot. It’s kind of something in my family because we’re all from California. I also wore it because this is the only jersey I had, for one, and because I couldn’t find my Longhorns T-shirt. This one is my first jersey so I really like it.

I wore a Dallas jersey because my mom was born in Texas, and my mom’s side and my dad’s side are both Cowboys fans – except for my grandpa; he’s a Redskins fan. When we watch the Cowboys-Redskins games, he always goes against my grandma. I’m a Dallas fan. A die-hard, live-for Dallas fan. I support my team when they go through hard times and rough times and the good times.


I earned two Grit Beads

I earned two Grit Beads.

What is grit?

Grit is not listening to what other people say about you. Just move along with it. Those things are not true about you. Never listen to somebody who doesn’t know about you. You should stand up for yourself. You should never give up. You should always try your best and always stay awesome.

My first grit bead was for when I was showing my journal and these two boys were laughing at me, but I just moved along with it. I didn’t care what they said. I just moved along. And then my teacher gave me a little project, I said it lightened up my day. My teacher wanted me to go tell Ms. Conger and she was really proud of me.

The second one was after a really hard test. It was about math. It was really difficult. I got 89 percent correct. I stuck with it. I didn’t give up. I thought and I had grit. I was brave. I was confident. I had courage that I would never give up.

And then Miss Robin, she is a custodian and she cleans up a lot of stuff when everybody is gone; she did the same thing like me. She never gave up. She showed grit. She had a lot of people absent but she did her job so everybody would like the school how it is.

I told her, “Me and you are Grit Sisters!”

I see her every day after school and I always say, “Hey, Grit Sister!”


I’m a school psychologist

What inspires me? I was just walking down the hall and looking at the kids in the classroom. Just seeing how excited they were and knowing the role that I play here to keep the excitement going. That’s what inspires me. I’m a school psychologist. That means that I am responsible for the mental health issues in the school division as well as making sure that the educational program is the best for each child.


Inspiring young minds

I’m passionate about inspiring young minds, teaching perseverance and then, watching them have those aha moments where you can tell they got it. That’s how I can tell that I’m doing my job the right way. It’s important to me because now I have a little one, and I love to watch her grow. I guess training came from teaching my first kindergarten students who have now been here for four or five years. Teaching and feeding their little minds, I’m responsible for that.


Be an example for other people

I think being involved and playing sports is a great way to stay in school and it helps you academically as well. I do soccer, wrestling, track, Academic Challenge, Project Care, SCA, Operation Smile, FCA and band, too. It helps me to connect with more people at the school and create more friends and relationships with the coaches and other people.

I’ve learned that middle school gets tougher. Like in sixth grade, you can kick back a little bit about grades and stuff. Once you get to seventh and eighth grade you’re going to have to study more often. And you have to work around your schedule to have the time to study and for athletics and balance all of that out. I think it’s preparing me for high school.

Have you thought about what you want to do as an adult?

I’m kind of thinking about everything. I don’t know for sure. I like talking to people. I could be a motivational speaker.

What would your message be?

Get up and do something. Make a difference. Be an example for other people. As an eighth grader, we’re supposed to be the example for sixth and seventh graders and the students who are coming in. That’s my whole life. I’m an older brother, the oldest, so I have to be an example for my siblings.

How do you set a good example?

Just to stay involved. Stay out of trouble. Keep your grades up. Listen to your parents.


I love working with food

This is my 14th year. I started as a cafeteria assistant. I was a manager of a small sub shop. I just knew eventually I wanted to be a cafeteria manager. I actually have a two-year degree in teaching. When I was younger I went in a little bit different direction. It’s a really neat job. I love working with the kids. I also love working with food. It just makes me smile when I can see people when they are eating and they are enjoying what they are eating. It’s a real passion of mine, especially if the kids are not well off. We have so many different choices now. We actually have a salad bar. I was one of the first schools to have one. The kids went crazy over it. Now we have parents and teachers who come in on a regular basis. It’s really great.

Gardening is also a real passion of mine. If I could have a greenhouse, I would. When I was a little girl, probably about four, I was on the cover of ‘Organic Gardening’ — my brother and I. I have to find it. My grandfather had such a passion for gardening. They were advocates of reading that magazine. I guess he wrote in. I honestly don’t know the story behind it, but my brother and I ended up on the cover. I still remember it. I love flowers. I love gardening.