Putting schooling first

Eighth grader on track for success

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ Melissa Gonzalez, 13, an eighth grader at Miller Middle School, enjoys sports, movies, spending time with friends, and writing. With assistance from Susan Ferneau, left, Melissa has improved her grades and attendance since last school year.

Melissa Gonzalez, 13, a pupil at Miller Middle School, is proud of the hard work she is putting in to make her eighth grade year the best one yet.

“She started eighth grade off like a rock star,” said instructor Susan Ferneau. “Her grades and attendance have improved since last year, and she’s learned school is important. She wants what’s best for her, and so do her mom and dad and the rest of us at Miller.”

What’s Melissa’s favorite part of the academic experience?

“Getting good grades,” she said. “I also like working with Ferneau — we just keep working harder.”

Her favorite class is composition, wherein she gets to hone her writing skills.

“I like to write about my life … I could see writing a book someday — about the immigrant people,” the student reflected.

In her free time, Melissa enjoys being outside and having friends come to her house to hang out. She likes going to the YMCA-YWCA to swim, and watching movies.

She enjoys volleyball, and hopes to join the team next year in high school. Her favorite food is pozole, which is a thick soup made with pork or chicken and hominy, mild chili peppers and coriander leaves. If she could travel anywhere, she’d soak up the sun in Acapulco.

When she grows up, she would like to be a doctor.

“I want to give people shots and see if they’re in good condition,” Melissa said.


Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com