Academic All-Stars

Sixth grade, Patrick Berry, Mountain View Elementary

Patrick Berry


Mountain View Elementary (Clovis Unified)

Age: 12

Home: Clovis

Parents: Shannon Wise and Kevin Berry

Achievements: Three-sport athlete, Principal's Honor Roll for four straight quarters, plays viola in the band, ninth grade reading level.

Some kids savor the attention of excelling in athletics and academics, but not Patrick Berry.

"It makes you feel different from everyone else," Patrick said.

For Patrick it's all about the team -- he plays football, baseball, and basketball -- or his peers in class doing well, with him supporting their efforts.

"He's always been concerned about other people," said his mother, Shannon Wise. "He's never been one to put himself above others."

In baseball -- his favorite sport -- he plays catcher for a team-oriented reason.

"You get to sacrifice your body to block the ball," Patrick said. "It helps the team."

His favorite memory was blocking a ball last year to stop a runner from advancing to a better scoring position in a game his team barely won.

Patrick's grandfather, Jerry Geiger, said he nominated Patrick because he knew he'd never ask for the attention. Patrick has been on the Principal's Honor Roll for four straight quarters, in the advanced math class for the last two years, plays the viola in band class, and has a ninth grade reading level.

In the classroom his teacher, Melissa Holdener, said Patrick's mature critical thinking stands out among his scholastic abilities.

"He is able to make connections and relationships to real world situations that most sixth graders don't get yet," Holdener said. "He can make an argument and back it up. Something I didn't learn until high school or college."

Honorable mention

Wesley T. Flowers, 11, Fresno

School: Kirk Elementary (Fresno Unified)

Parents: Wesley and Alexis Flowers

Achievements: "We need a lot more Wesleys," said his principal Carla Manning. Described as a well-rounded student by Manning, who nominated him to be an Academic All-Star, Wesley has a variety of Achievements: proficient and advanced in reading and math on the state assessment every year since the second grade, a 4.0 GPA, plays basketball and football, writes poetry and was selected to attend Edison Computech Middle School in the fall. "He has a wonderful personality where he relates well with everyone," Manning said. "He writes poetry and recites it at community events." Wesley read his poetry at the Clovis North African-American History Month ceremony in 2010 and 2011 and at the NAACP Image Awards in 2008.

John (Jack) Douglas Randall, 12, Clovis

School: Cedarwood Elementary (Clovis Unified)

Parents: Glenn and Deanna Randall

Achievements: John, who prefers to be called Jack, read 10,000 pages in the first semester of his sixth grade year. The voracious reader also dispenses knowledge and engages adults in political discussions. "He's had at least one letter to the editor published by the Fresno Bee," said his teacher Bob Althoff. "He wrote to the Bee about why don't we switch to a flat tax." Jack is a member of the school choir and orchestra, playing violin, plays volleyball and was the most valuable player of varsity cross country. He is also the student body president, which is a possible foreshadowing of his future profession. "I think he wants to be President and it wouldn't surprise me," Althoff said.

Hayley Elisabeth Kumagai, 12, Fresno

School: River Bluff Elementary, Central Unified

Parents: Jason and Julie Kumagai

Achievements: "She's like a little adult but she is still a giggly little girl," said her teacher Stephanie Klays. Hayley is a 4.0 GPA student who also plays the flute, was the first semester student council treasurer, took second place in the school district's spelling bee and competed in the Fresno County competition. Klays said Hayley has been known to read 600-page books in a few days. Outside of school she volunteers at the Poverello House and has attended dance classes the last nine years. "She's a very outside-the-box thinker," Klays said. "She thinks above and beyond what everybody else does."

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