It’s always a pleasure to call attention to the wonderful young people we’re privileged to teach and interact with in Allendale. With so much news of hardship, the Allendale Outlook wants to make a point of sharing some joy! That’s why this week and next we’ll be featuring “Star Students” who exemplify the character traits and commitment to personal success we so admire.
This week we bring our focus to Allendale Middle School. When I first asked AMS principal, Mr. Thompson, for a Star Student recommendation, he didn’t hesitate.
“Sam Austin is responsible, humble, and full of integrity,” he shared. “He’s a leader and makes our school a better place.”
Mr. Thompson shared a story of a recent spelling bee mix-up where groups of participants were accidentally given two different word lists, thus placing a section of the kids on uneven footing with their classmates.
Sam finished in 2nd place and would have been fully within his rights to insist that the results of the bee be upheld, however he made another choice. He felt it would be only fair to offer everyone involved the same preparation list and re-do the bee! Sam’s integrity dictated fairness and equal opportunity for all. (Incidentally, Sam went on to win the Regional Spelling Bee and will compete in the State Finals in Grand Rapids on March 13!)
Mr. Thompson recounted another situation in which he was called into a Spanish class dealing with some out-of-line students. Sam stood up and challenged his classmates with this question: “Are you part of the problem? Or part of the solution?” In middle school, that takes a lot of courage! (continued below photo)
Aside from his academic achievements, Sam is passionate about Lego robotics and has been an integral part of Allendale’s Lego club for four years. In fact, he shared that if he was given a million legos, he’d build a full-size, fully-functional Lego house! Sam dreams of one day becoming a NASA rocket scientist or an aerospace engineer, and we won’t be surprised if he makes that dream a reality.
Sam’s work ethic makes him strive for his best in every endeavor. He puts in countless hours on the Lego team until he gets it right. Where does this work ethic come from? At least in part, Sam shared, from Mr. Piccard, his 6th grade teacher. “He was a hard worker. He inspired me to work hard.”
There are many things that make Sam a “Star Student” in Allendale: he epitomizes the spirit of being a lifelong learner, a caring young person, and a contributing member of society.
We recognize his efforts and applaud him for the leadership he displays and the integrity he maintains each day in the middle school. Hats off to you, Sam!