Student of the Week: Gaming enthusiast fuels habit with straight A's [The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.]
(Herald-Sun (Durham, NC) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 23--DURHAM -- When her son Justin began school, Robin Gunn made a pact with him that every time he brought home a straight-A report card, they'd make a trip to GameStop to pick up a new video game.
"Well, Mommy stays broke," she said with a chuckle. "He's been making all A's ever since he started school."
Being Justin's mother is just "wonderful," Gunn said of the Rogers-Herr Middle School sixth-grader. "I couldn't task for anything better. He is just the most polite, quiet, thoughtful young man."
His math teacher, Sarah Rowland, apparently agrees. She nominated Justin for Duke University's Durham Student of the Week honor, describing him in her nomination letter as "one of the most wonderful students I've EVER taught in all of my years of teaching."
Justin is not only dedicated to academics, but he also serves as a positive role model for his classmates, she said.
"He has the courage to stand up for people and in situations he believes to be hurtful to others, is kind to everyone he encounters, and maintains an amazingly wonderful disposition at all times," the letter reads. "He is dedicated to his work and exemplifies the characteristics of a fantastic student and person."
The 12-year-old modestly says those attributes are a credit to his mother and some really wonderful teachers.
"She makes sure I'm the best I can be," Justin said of Gunn. "If I get anything less than a B, I'm in trouble. She makes sure I'm dressed well and prepared for different challenges. ... She teaches me to care for others and how to help others out."
His teachers -- particularly Rowland and language arts instructor Diane Moser -- have encouraged him to push himself, he said, from learning to enjoy a new genre of literature to tutoring other students in math.
Justin, a member of the National Junior Honor Society, heads to the Emily K Center after school for academic enrichment. He enjoys the programming there, and his advice to other students is to give the center a try.
"You can learn a lot there," he said.
Doing well in school is Justin's top priority.
"When I grow up," he said, "I know I'm going to need this knowledge."
About the award
Duke University and its Office of Durham and Regional Affairs are proud to sponsor Duke University's Durham Student of the Week.
The Office of Durham and Regional Affairs strives to broaden and strengthen engagement with Durham and the Research Triangle region. Visit community.duke.edu to learn more about the office's educational outreach, neighborhood quality of life and economic development initiatives.
Favorite subject: Math ("It's kind of challenging," he explained.)
Career interest: Video game design
In spare time: Enjoys playing video games and watching TV (Cartoon Network's "Regular Show" is his favorite.)
Favorite book: The "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series by Jeff Kinney
(c)2012 The Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.)
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