Carson Michelle KingSchool:
Fowler High (Fowler Unified)
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Parents: Lucile King, Michael King
Achievements: 4.42 GPA, three time Fowler High School class treasurer, 4H Fresno County record book medal winner, seven-time best of show Fresno Fair and 4H Fair.
There's only been one person pressuring Carson King to accomplish more -- herself. The daughter of a school teacher, she works hard because it's something she wants to do.
"I like to challenge myself," said King, who was a 2008 Fresno Bee Academic All Star honorable mention when she was in the sixth grade.
The big challenge this year was to take AP classes in Chemistry, U.S. History and Calculus. She was able to handle the heavy school load while continuing with community activities and working in the arts.
Carson started acting in local theater when she was in the second grade and continued into high school. Just to show her creative side isn't limited to theater, a few years ago Carson decided to try her hand at painting.
Her mother, Lucile King, says that while her daughter has always been a top student, she's shown a real passion for drama. Not only has she been in two productions every year for a decade, she has won six 4-H State Presentation Day Gold Medals.
Among her long list of academic awards, the GATE certified student has been named to the Fowler Unified School District Principal's Honor Roll and honored for Algebra II and AP World History.
She has volunteered for many city of Fowler and Fowler Chamber of Commerce events, including the Fourth of July celebration, Fresno Fair Ag Booth, Easter Egg Hunt, Bingo in the Park, Senior Citizen's Holiday parties, Kids' Shopping Day and Serve Fowler Community Clean. Carson has earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Award each year since second grade
Fowler High principal Hank Gutierrez said: "Carson is the epitome of 'character and class' and she's all we could ask for in a student. She has drive, determination, and always strives to perfection."
One of her main activities outside of school is the 4-H Club, where she was named the Fresno County 4H All Star for 2011-12.
Carson plans to teach high school math.
Honorable mentionJoshua Kisbye, 17, Fresno
School: University High
Parents: Erik, Michelle Kisbye
Achievements: Joshua is the top cadet non-commissioned officer in Civil Air Patrol Squadron 112, an Eagle Scout and a top official of the Northern California Junior State of America. He is a University High School peer mentor and was selected to serve on the Honor Commission. Joshua has served in many leadership positions and is currently Director of Chapter Affairs, which means he's responsible for over one hundred JSA chapters throughout Northern California. He's found time to letter in cross country and play on the school's indoor soccer team. Joshua has secured a spot as a delegate at this year's Boys State. Michelle Kisbye says, "Joshua is a responsible member of his family. He helps around the house, assists with his siblings, and helps in the family business by selling fruit at farmer's markets. He takes the maximum amount of college and AP courses available to him and has received an A in every class he has ever taken."
Brandon Reta, 17, Fresno
School: Central High School West Campus (Central Unified)
Parents: Sandra Reta
Achievements: Caran Resciniti, director of Central High School West Campus, describes Brandon as "a great example of an Academic All-Star." He has successfully taken four advanced placement classes and many accelerated classes throughout his high school career and maintains a GPA of 4.57. During the summer, Brandon attended classes at Stanford University in support of his academics and to experience the college environment. He participates in leadership at Central High School and was a member of Central's Academic Decathlon team this year. He placed in the top 10 for the Individual Honor's Tier, which was comprised of students with a GPA over 3.75. When he has free time, Brandon volunteers at St. Agnes Hospital, serving patients in the surgery recovery room.
Alexandra Heckel, 17, Fresno
School: Central High School East Campus (Central Unified)
Parents: T.A., Michelle Heckel
Achievements: Alexandra was a Fresno Bee Academic All Star in the first grade. She's continued to be a strong student and is carrying a 4.10 GPA. In nominating Alexandra, school secretary JuDee Stagnoli said: "While that in itself would be enough to consider her outstanding, Alexandra does so much more. She actively participates in our program 'Athletes as Reader and Leaders.' volunteers as a cheer coach at Saroyan Elementary and provides tutoring to students in need." She is a Central High School varsity cheerleader and has competed on the competition cheer team for the past two years. Alexandra is also one of the anchors on Central Television (CTV). She's currently enrolled in two advanced placement classes and will be enrolled in four AP classes during her senior year.