Central Community School System Names 2021 Students of the Year

 The Central Community School System has announced its Students of the Year.

• Bellingrath Elementary Student of the Year Rilen Wilkes is in all ways an exceptional student. He loves to learn, is always kind to his peers, and works hard at all he does. His teacher said, “He is the first one to check on a friend who is hurt and the first one to give up his crayon so someone can have a turn.” 

Rilen is a true leader partly because of his caring nature, but also because of his academic strengths and classroom participation.

Rilen loves being with his family. In his free time, he enjoys drawing and playing outside games like tag and hide and seek. He especially loves playing with his sister who is currently teaching him how to climb trees. 

Rilen says that being a good friend means “helping people up” and giving hugs. “School is important,” Rilen says, “so kids can learn their ABC’s and numbers” and “learn to sing in music class.” 

Rilen is a fun, happy, sweet student who lights up every person he meets.

Tanglewood Elementary Student of the Year ChiChi Nguyen  is 7 years old and is a second grade student in Mrs. Satterwhite’s class at Tanglewood Elementary. ChiChi has an older brother named Leho who is in the Navy and stationed in Japan. When her brother is home visiting, ChiChi loves going to the park and get ice cream with him. 

She enjoys doing chores like washing dishes and mopping to help out. She also likes to help he mom in her nail salon.

ChiChi has made several new friends since moving to Central. She likes to play outside with her friends and ride bikes around her neighborhood.

Chi Chi also loves to tumble. She takes tumbling classes at Tumble Cats where she is working on cartwheels, handstands, and roundoffs.

When ChiChi grows up she wants to be a teacher so she can teach other kids a love for learning. 

• Central Intermediate Student of the Year Baylee Osborne is a 5th grader at Central Intermediate School. She lives with her sister Allison, who is a 6th grader, her mom Hollee, who is a home health nurse, and her dad Scott, who is an Algebra II teacher at Central High. She enjoys spending time with her family and taking part in many hobbies and interests such as art, puzzles, and table tennis. She participates in athletics through basketball and swim teams. Baylee also plays piano, clarinet, and for the past year, the melodica, which is a mix of both the piano and clarinet. Baylee is an avid reader and enjoys Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology, as well as African American fiction.

Baylee has been inspired by her dad to possibly pursue teaching, and additionally inspired by her mother and grandmother to pursue a path in science. Although Baylee is unsure at this time which career path she may choose, she does know that her goal is to recycle and to make the world a better place. She lives by the words her dad always tells her, “Do your best because that is all you can do.”

• Central Middle School Student of the Year Ava Nehring is the daughter of Logan and Aimee Nehring, sister to Haley, a straight-A student, and the starting catcher on the Louisiana 007’s softball team. In addition to her involvement in several CMS clubs and teams, she has interests in calligraphy and cooking. 

Ava has shown a great love for the people of her community by volunteering at the Central Food Bank. She also has a passion for animal welfare. 

In the future, Ava would like to attend college at Duke University. Even though her career path is still undecided, her determination to make a difference and impact many people is what pushes her to work so hard now. She has had great success in both academics and athletics and believes that balancing pressure from all these angles has formed her to be a student, athlete, and leader with independence, integrity, and a never-give-up attitude. Her teachers agree whole-heartedly. 

• Central High School Student of the Year Victoria Pursifull. Victoria, daughter of James and Jessica Pursifull, exemplifies the “Wildcat Way” through her dedication to her academics, her kindness to her classmates, and her commitment to her community. A few of Victoria’s honors and accomplishments include: Valedictorian of the Class of 2021, AP Scholar, Dual Enrollment student, a 30+ score on her ACT, Student Council representative, Beta Club member, Mu Alpha Theta member, DEMCO finalist, Spanish and AP Government award winner, and youth leader at her church.

Victoria has written that she feels her mission in life is — to quote Proverbs — to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute,” and so she plans to attend Southeastern in the fall to major in psychology. 

Her future may include a graduate degree, law school, or the ministry, all platforms from which she can use her voice — as she writes — “to speak up for the oppressed, the children that cannot speak for themselves, and the lonely, and to make everyone around her feel a bit more loved.” Congratulations to CHS Student of the Year Victoria Pursifull! 

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