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Canty Seventh-Grader Commended for Exemplifying School’s Community Pillars

14 December 2023

Perry's biggest accomplishment of seventh grade so far has been getting all of his work done and maintaining good grades.

Canty Student

Canty Elementary School on Chicago’s Northwest Side has five Community Pillars, which are the core values all students are expected to embody: trustworthiness, kindness, citizenship, inclusivity, and perseverance. When Principal Jennifer Rath thinks about students who have embraced these pillars, she thinks of Perry, a current seventh-grader. 

She sees him as a student who is always going to jump in and do his best, even without being asked. She has also been impressed by his ability to balance his academics with extracurricular activities and being extremely involved in the Canty community. Ultimately, she believes that he is a budding leader, which Perry says makes him feel amazing. 

Perry has been a Canty student since he was in kindergarten, and he notes that he’s become more confident since each grade allows him to learn something new while also building on what he learned in previous years. Along the way, he’s created a bank of positive memories that reflect his deep involvement at Canty and in his neighborhood. 

“I was the emcee for the talent show last year and was also in The Wizard of Oz play,” said Perry. “I do cross country at the school, play Hiawatha Park baseball, and also bench coach my brother’s baseball team.” 

Inside the classroom, Perry’s favorite subject is math. He just had a test on the order of operations and got 100 percent. Outside of the classroom, in addition to his other extracurriculars, he loves to draw. This year, his interests have come together in his math class as he’s gotten to draw tessellations and optical illusions. He also had the opportunity to help create some of Canty’s murals, meaning that some of his artwork will remain at the school even after he graduates. 


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Perry says that his biggest accomplishment of seventh grade so far has been getting all of his work done and maintaining good grades. This is an especially impressive feat given his busy schedule and participation in two sports this fall. He expressed the importance of staying focused and prioritizing time to complete assignments. 

“Advice I would give to other students is to break down your work into smaller pieces,” said Perry. “If something isn’t due for a few days, you can do a little bit each day so you can finish your projects on time.” 

Reading is typically one of Perry’s tougher subjects, but he’s still been extremely engaged because of the diverse texts that he’s gotten to dig into. So far this year, he’s gotten to read three novels. His class started the year with Wolf Hollow, then moved on to Refugee, and is now reading Freak the Mighty.

Not only have these three books explored a variety of settings and characters, but their themes also remind Perry and his peers of the importance of embracing Canty’s Community Pillars. 

A fun fact about Perry is that he loves to analyze maps and listen to the weather in his free time. Thus, it’s not a surprise that he is considering becoming a meteorologist as a future career. His interest in math is also potentially pushing him in the direction of becoming an engineer. Regardless of the career path he chooses, he knows that his time at Canty has set him up for success. 

“When I start high school in a few years, I’m going to stay focused on my work just as I’ve done here,” said Perry. “The same process I follow now can even help me in college.” 

His nine years at Canty have been defined by good relationships with all members of the Canty community, especially his teachers, who he describes as always fair and accommodating. While Perry’s dedication to his school’s core values is certainly a testament to his character, he will be the first person to tell you that he has also felt inspired by those around him. 

“It’s important for me to be able to say ‘thank you very much’ to everyone who has been there for me,” said Perry. “They’ve helped me through hard times and have also given me a lot of support.”


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