The NCVPS Super Student Award is for students who have gone above and beyond the course requirements and as a result have enriched the content, class dynamic, their own learning, their classmates’ learning, and even their teacher’s learning.
“My dad has been in the media all of my life. He started as a radio personality, then started writing for newspapers, then that morphed into television appearances. I want to be a reporter just like him. I love learning new information about current events, so what better than to be the first to get the scoop? People could rely on me for reliable information. All I’ve ever wanted to do was help people, and I think reporting is a great way to do it. In addition to being a reporter, I want to be an author. I’ve always loved reading and there are multiple books that have changed my perspective on life. I want to be that author for someone else, another way I can help make the world a better place.” –KaLa K.
“KaLa is a super student because she has a passion for learning, a desire and determination to be successful, and is an all-around excellent student. She not only works hard and does well in this class, but she strives to better herself outside of the classroom as well. For starters, she went out on her own to find a software program that would help her and other students in creating their scripts and was sure to share it with me and others. She also has recognized that she is opinionated yet expresses her opinion through writing. She has written a novel that she hopes to get published and shared part of her writing in an assignment.” –Jessica Eliot, NCVPS English Teacher
NCVPS has been an amazing experience, and it helps I have an amazing teacher, Mrs. Eliot! The thing I love the most about NCVPS is how I can pace myself. Assignments are spread out enough to where I can feel comfortable moving ahead of the schedule without feeling pressured or rushed. This especially helps in a year-round school where I have frequent breaks in the middle of the school year. NCVPS was also a great answer to a looming question I didn’t have an answer to a year ago. Since I am a Single Subject Acceleration (SSA) student, I take English Language Arts a grade level ahead (I am currently in the eighth grade, but take ninth grade English). For a long time I didn’t know how I was going to take English this year since it has never really been done before. There were so many requirements; it had to be year-long, my parents wanted honors, and it would have to fit in my schedule. Now, I’m happy I’m enrolled in NCVPS!
Advice for Online Students
This is my second time taking an online class (my first time was in the fifth grade on Blackboard) and the best advice I can give is to always communicate with your teachers and peers. I really like how there is a separate email option for NCVPS. This helps me organize my classes better. This year, I was also in a group chat with some of the other students and we answered each other’s questions when Mrs. Eliot wasn’t available. Frequently checking the calendar provided by NCVPS is a great way to make sure you’re on top of things. I wish all of my classes were as updated as this one!
I spend a lot of time listening to music on YouTube. It helps relax me after a long day at school. There is almost every song ever made on YouTube. Depending on my mood, I can listen to a specific genre of music, like R&B or Hip-Hop. Once in awhile I’ll play some old Disney favorites! I also like to write on Google Docs. For the past three years, I’ve been writing two novels I plan to have published. Even though I’m not always motivated to write every day, when I do, I can write for hours passionately.
Gadgets and Things
Like any other teenager, I use my phone frequently. I quickly research things, I scroll through the news, I look for reference photos for inspiration, I collaborate with my friends on stories, I can share special moments on SnapChat, listen to music, and catch up on Instagram. I can check my grades easily and look up recipes. The main reason why I got my phone was for emergencies, but now I feel like I can do anything with a phone!
My goal this semester is to finish my second book. If you asked me this a year ago, I would’ve confidently said I would want my first book published. I had no idea I would write a sequel, especially not one with loaded content. The contrast between my two books is stark, but I wouldn’t change either of them. It shows my personal growth and the shift in my interests and global concerns. I truly think there are issues that should be addressed in the real world and not be ignored. If either one of my books can make even a miniscule impact, then I will have met my life goal.
I have really big hair and only recently I’ve let it get bigger. My hair is naturally curly, but I’ve not always embraced it. I often put in a ponytail or flat ironed it. I actually detested my hair and never wanted to let it show. This year I started taking care of my hair; I found its beauty very quickly. I no longer have to battle with my curls; I know exactly what I have to do for it to be healthy and long. I don’t have to be the same person either; I can change it up whenever I want! My hair is a big (no pun intended) part of me, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
I prefer printed books. Feeling the pages underneath my fingers is so calming to me. It’s a traditional way to relax. There are so many amazing books I have read and they have all shaped me as a writer. Some honorable mentions I would recommend to anyone who loves to read as much as I do are: The School for Good and Evil series by Soman Chainani, Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan, Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline, the Confessions series by James Patterson, Immortal City by Scott Speer, and The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy Tyson. I usually tend to read fantasy novels instead of non-fiction, but this year I plan on challenging myself to read more pieces about African-American history. Not only would this aid me in knowing more about my history, but it also will help my second book be more factual than fiction!
My music taste changes from mood to mood. If I’m happy, I tend for more pop music, such as Ariana Grande or Beyonce classics. If it’s just an average day, I listen to more Hip-Hop and R&B such as New Edition and Migos. I enjoy classical music when I’m focusing on work. The only limit to my music is country. It’s not a pleasurable sound in my opinion. I really cannot pinpoint a specific song or artist, although right now I do enjoy listening to 90’s Pop and R&B.
Thoughts on TV
I am not a television junkie. I can count all of my regular shows on one hand. My dad and I love superheroes, so we record Supergirl and The Flash on the CW. They have everything a good superhero story should have – special effects, a good plot, action in every episode, a little bit of romance, and humor. We also like to watch the historical fiction show Sleepy Hollow. I love how the writers twist history to serve their purpose of telling an interesting story. I also learn a lot about the American Revolution and historical figures.
KaLa – The Personal Side
I have always wanted to travel since I was a little girl. I usually was so caught up in school and extracurricular activities I never had the time. This year, that all changed. I traveled all the way up north to Vancouver, Canada! Not only was this my first time out of the country, it was also my first time flying. I was accompanied by my two best friends and took skiing lessons at the famous Whistler Blackcomb Resort. While I didn’t enjoying skiing that much, there were plenty of things to do that I did enjoy, like tubing. I went to the Whistler Museum and held the Olympic torch from 2010. I must have been to all of the stores twice by the time I left. We enjoyed the best ice cream at Cows and rode the Peak to Peak Gondola that, at it’s highest, is 1,430 ft above the ground. My friend’s mom and I experienced snowshoeing for the first time, too! Overall, I loved my trip to Canada and want to go back soon! This time I might not want to go skiing, so maybe I’ll return in the summer for biking and hiking!
I really like the theater. It’s almost an unhealthy addiction. In September of 2016, after interviewing for a position, I was selected to join the Cary Applause! Design Team for the “Holes” by Louis Sachar production with eight other enthusiastic individuals. For six weeks, three to five days a week, three hours each time, we worked hard on everything necessary for a production. Some of the crew worked on the physical set for the holes, while I helped with the costumes and props. I think my favorite part was sewing the pigs for Stanley Yelnats’ great grandfather Elya’s scenes. The actors, director, and teachers for this production have been the best so far and they have really shaped me into the theater-loving girl I am today. Other than a love of fabric, sawdust, and general stress, I learned how to be creative with the things that I had! Some articles of clothing were already sewn and were available to be reused, and other items I had to sew myself. We also had to alter the pieces so they would fit on the actors properly. This year I am interviewing for Design Team again. Cary Applause! is producing “A NeverEnding Story” and I’m so excited!
I first started playing the piano when I was seven. I played all throughout elementary school, but took a hiatus in the sixth grade. Last spring I picked it up again with a new teacher and rekindled my love for playing. Often times I play the piano while at another friend’s house while she belts it out on the saxophone. Music has evolved into a very important hobby for me. I feel very much at peace when I play piano and impressive and fancy when I am able to play a song in front of my friends. Right now my favorite song to play is Bach’s Minuet in D Minor. It’s the first song I’ve been able to sight read from start to finish!
During the summer in eighth grade over the weekends, I tutored a bright little girl named Courtney. She was going into the first grade and needed some assistance with phonetics. Our first session was the first time I met Courtney, and based solely on what her mother said, she had a great time! I bought her some materials and workbooks she could keep. For our last session, I took her on a field trip to Barnes and Noble with my mom as a chaperone. Her mother said she improved through our sessions, which made me so happy that I could help! I love kids and want to help them be the best version of themselves, and may want to work with them as part of my job or even career someday.
KaLa’s Sample Work