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Recognizing a Standout Eighth-Grader at Harold Washington Elementary School

04 June 2024

Phillip has impressed others with his resilience and academic success.

Harold Washington Student

There are many positive qualities that the Harold Washington Elementary School community sees in Phillip, a member of its Class of 2024. Phillip’s counselor, Ms. Donieshia Johnson, has been impressed by his resilience, academic success, and commitment to helping others. 

“I want Phillip to continue striving for excellence because I see him as both a scholar and a leader,” said Ms. Johnson. “I hope that he continues to build great relationships with others and maintains his strong character. Your relationships and your character matter.” 

Next year, Phillip will be attending Kenwood Academy, where he will pursue rigorous academics and continue his passion for athletics. Get to know him more below.

How would you describe your elementary school experience? 

It has been great. I’ve been here for about two-and-a-half years, and I was immediately accepted more by my peers than I had been at other schools. I also felt like the teachers here were more hands-on and made sure that we developed the skills we needed to solve problems.

What do you enjoy learning and doing outside of school? 

Reading and science are the subjects that I am most interested in. I believe that reading is important for getting anywhere in life, and, when I’m reading, I feel like I’m unlocking different worlds and am in my own little bubble. I also like what we’ve been learning in science, especially at the molecular level. 

Outside of school, I love playing football and basketball, and really any type of sport. I like activities that keep me active because this will keep me from becoming fatigued when I’m older. 

How have you grown over the past few years? 

The biggest area where I’ve grown has been my grades. I want other people to look up to me, and I knew that the first step to doing that was to bring my grades up. I relied on my friends to help me. We are all very collaborative and good listeners. My friends are also very smart, so listening to them really helped me academically. 

What is your greatest accomplishment in elementary school? 

I am really proud that I was able to gain the trust of my teachers. I developed a good reputation, and this made it easy to go to my teachers for help and also help them out, too. 

What are some of your favorite memories at Harold Washington?

One year, we had a little carnival at the school with zip lining and rock climbing. It was really fun hanging out with my friends. I also will never forget learning algebra. I was really struggling with it. My teacher was breaking everything down, and I still wasn’t getting it. She was very persistent and helped me out so much.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years? 

I could see myself pursuing two different careers, either playing in the National Football League or becoming an engineer. 

If you could sum up your elementary school experience in one word, what would it be and why? 

Suspenseful. I never knew what was going to happen next. I tried to take risks because I know that great risks lead to great rewards. 

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