[Courtesy Photo]

The Margaret L. Hopkin Middle School announced its Students of the Month: seventh-grader Lee Buffington and eighth-grader Daniel Smith.

Staff says that Lee Buffington is a great collaborator, he is kind and interested in others’ thoughts and opinions. He always has a smile for everyone and is focused when working to solve problems.

“I have noticed Lee asking good questions and giving advice and opinions to his peers,” said one staff member. “Lee is admired by his teachers and we are all pleased to have a student with his strengths and a strong and steady character.”

Lee’s favorite dessert is Zax’s apple turnover and he believes that pineapple on pizza isn’t that bad. Lee cannot handle spicy food at all and his dog really likes Wendy’s fries. He used to have a pet salamander named “Sally the Mander” and he owns a big, stuffed trout that, for whatever reason, has whiskers. Lee’s advice to others is: “Whenever you are with others, always try to add your own personal flair. Try to also find a balance between personalities. We all have outside influences, just try to stay a somewhat original and all-around person.”

Teachers say that eighth-grader Daniel Smith is a great contributor to class discussions. “Other students benefit from the knowledge and perspectives that he shares during discussions on most topics,” said one. Daniel always enthusiastically participates in class and is great at explaining the reasoning behind the work that he does. Not only is he a great student, staff say, but he also has a great sense of humor. Daniel is also a great contributor to the mountain bike team. He helps encourage and motivate his teammates and always has a good story.

Daniel enjoys learning about history and says that he wants to learn Russian and learn more about Russian culture. Daniel loves orchestra, musical arrangements, and fictional books and movies. He loves to draw, experimenting with different shapes, and seeing how they reflect expression. He enjoys mountain biking and, not to brag, he thinks he’s pretty good! Daniel’s advice to his fellow students is: “Keep your head high, no matter the circumstances.”