This award is given to students who
exhibit a positive attitude and a commitment to excellence in
the classroom. Each Academic All-Star is chosen by his or
her principal and receives a certificate, a $10 gift card to Sonic Drive-In and
a free gift courtesy of Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More in
Independence High - Riley Deane
High School senior Riley Deane knows a thing or two about
overcoming obstacles. After being rezoned from Franklin
High to Independence as a sophomore, Riley had to endure a tough
stretch at home.
"That was a really rough time for me," said Riley. "Not
only was I at a new school, but my
brother, who is now four-years-old, had just had a heart
transplant, and I was missing a ton of school to stay home and
take care of my little sister. I stopped putting effort
into my schoolwork and that was really bad."
Eventually, Riley's brother began to recover but it wasn't until
her senior year that she began to turn things around. It's
a change that prompted administrators to name
Riley as the school's Academic All-Star.
“Although she has had academic concerns, Riley has really
embraced the learning process this year and improved
academically across the board," said IHS Principal Dr. Todd
Campbell. "She is truly an example of hard work and
determination in pursing her goals.”
Riley says her motivation for doing well in school comes
from her desire to attend college.
school has always been Ole Miss, but I recently visited Lee
University and I liked it there too," said Riley. "I'd
like to be able to study the Bible in college and go on global
In the meantime, Riley says she'll continue to work hard and
make the most of her senior year at IHS.
"I love Independence," said Riley.
"I feel like it's a great school.
I just wish
I had started strong because it's not hard. You just
have to work at it."
- Jayla Archie
year old Jayla Archie is a creative student who knows the price
of success is hard work. That's why teachers and
administrators at Sunset Elementary selected her as the school's
Academic All-Star for the 2013-14 school year.
"Jayla is a student
who exhibits a relentless determination to complete all tasks to
the best of her ability," said Principal Karen Caldwell.
"Her strong work ethic, willingness to help others and thirst
for learning makes her an excellent Academic All-star.
Jayla began attending Sunset Elementary in first grade and says
the teachers and students are great. "I like it here
because it's nice and friendly," said Jayla. "My favorite
subject is social studies because I really like history."
Jayla says she's excited to attend Sunset Middle in the fall
where she will be on the cheerleading team. In addition to
cheerleading, Jayla performs on a competitive dance team.
She also likes to act and sing, which means she stays very busy.
Although she's not entirely sure what she wants to be when she
grows up, Jayla says she'll continue to try her best both in and
out of the classroom. "My motivation comes from my
teachers, my friends and my parents," said Jayla. "I'm
happy to know I've been chosen for this award."
Sunset Middle - Steven Errico
diligent and hard-working. They are adjectives teachers at
Sunset Middle School use when describing eighth grader Steven
Errico. So it's no surprise that Steven was recently
chosen as the school's Academic All-Star for the 2014-15 school
every learning opportunity to benefit his highest potential and
is a pace setter in all of his classes," said Principal Dr. Tim
Brown. "His hard work is evident outside of school as
well. He is active in his church, plays music,
makes films and enjoys computers and
sports. Overall, he is a well-rounded and exemplary young
Steven says the thing he enjoys most
about Sunset Middle School is that the teachers truly care about
their students. His favorite subject is math, and he loves
to mess around with computers in his spare time.
"I do video editing, computer
programming and different things like that," said Steven.
"I've been involved in that since fifth or sixth grade. I
also like to watch movies, and I play drums and guitar."
When he grows up, Steven says he might
like to be a filmmaker, a computer programmer, a musician - or
maybe all three. One thing's for sure, Steven will
continue to reach for the stars as he continues his educational
"I kind of motivate myself because I
want to see how far I can actually go," said Steven, who admits
he's thrilled to have won this special award. "Being name
an Academic All-Star is really cool because I've never thought
of myself as being really popular but at least to be known as
smart is good enough for me."
Westwood Elementary - Kelcie Peterson
grader Kelcie Peterson is known throughout Westwood Elementary
School for her brilliant smile, generous attitude and love for
learning. So when it came time for administrators and
staff at Westwood to select an Academic All-Star, the choice was
"Kelcie has a kind heart and is always looking to lend a helping
hand," said Principal Valerie Garcia. "During class,
Kelcie strives to attain the highest amount of knowledge.
When she encounters a problem she will ask questions until she
understands. It is truly a pleasure to have Kelcie as a
Kelcie has attended Westwood since
kindergarten. She sings in the school chorus; serves on
the Student Safety Patrol; and says the teachers at Westwood are
second to none.
"I like how the teachers here put their
hard work into teaching us," said Kelcie. "My favorite subjects
math and reading because they're both really important and
if we learn from those we'll be getting ahead in life. I
also like music and PE."
When she's not in school, Kelcie enjoys
playing sports with her three sisters. She says she loves
to stay active and may even pursue multiple careers when she
"If I do well in school I can complete
my dream which is to become a professional athlete and work in
an aquarium and help animals," said Kelcie. "I want to
play soccer and