Respect, responsibility trademarks of SHS senior|Southside recognizes Ferrell in Teen Spotlight

Published 7:05 pm Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lifestyles & Features Editor

CHOCOWINITY — Showing respect for others and taking responsibility for her own actions are character traits Southside High School student D’Anna Ferrell exhibits on a daily basis.
So much so that Kathy Clark, SHS business teacher, was moved to nominate Ferrell for the Beaufort County Schools/Washington Daily News Teen Spotlight.
“This is my second semester teaching D’Anna,” Clark said. “She is always very polite and cooperative in class. She also takes responsibility for her own learning. Many students are influenced by the actions of others. Not D’Anna. In fact, she encourages other students who are inclined to misbehave to behave.”
Ferrell is a student who goes the extra mile, as evidenced by her grades and classroom work, according to Clark. Ferrell was part of a team last year that was recognized for developing the best marketing documents to showcase the Tech Prep agreement with Beaufort County Community College.
A honor roll student, Ferrell is active in Southside’s Beta Club, Math Club, Science Club and Future Business Leaders of America chapter and is a member of the yearbook staff.
A 17-year-old senior who lives in Aurora with her aunt, Sherry Mackey, Ferrell’s work ethic was fostered at an early age. While attending what was then Aurora Middle School, she was a member of the Science Club that competed during an event hosted by East Carolina University, earning Aurora a third place award. She was also valedictorian of her eighth grade class and is still ranked near the top of her class.
Ferrell lists math, science, computer applications and art as among her favorite subjects. In the latter, she earned two honorable mention ribbons in the annual Student Art Show hosted by the Beaufort County Arts Council.
Clark said Ferrell’s interest in technology has proved to be invaluable in class.
“I had students troubleshooting machine issues in Computer Applications II,” Clark said. “We still had a lingering issue (the next day) with a network connection. D’Anna finished her work early and then worked on trying to solve that problem.”
Ferrell is also willing to help her fellow students, Clark added.
“She is a delight to have in class and quite helpful with students who may not understand things as quickly as she does,” Clark said. “In fact, she is so responsible that she will actually be graduating a semester early. I will miss having her smiling face in my class next semester.”
As her days at Southside High School wind down, Ferrell is looking to the future. She plans to attend Miller-Monte College in Greenville to study to become a dental assistant. If she enjoys that field, she may eventually return to school to become an orthodontist.
“I had braces when I was little and I liked the atmosphere,” Ferrell said. “They didn’t make it seem like it was a punishment.”
Ferrell said she’ll miss Southside once she graduates.
“I like the teachers here because a lot of them help you learn, they don’t just tell you that you have to do it,” she said. “They don’t just leave you alone. They want us to succeed in life.”
Ferrell is becoming a master of time management; in addition to her busy school life, she works two jobs at the Wayside Restaurant and Aurora Mini Mart.
And she shared a little advice for her fellow teenagers.
“Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you can’t do something,” she said. “No matter where you came from, you can get the same opportunities. You might have to work a little bit harder, but you can still do it.”
Teen Spotlight is a joint project between Beaufort County Schools and the Washington Daily News. The students featured are nominated by their respective schools.
All about D’Anna Ferrell …
Grade and school: senior, Southside High School.
Birthday: Aug. 26.
Hobbies: drawing and listening to music.
Favorite book: “Accident” by Danielle Steele.
Favorite movie: “P.S. I Love You.”
Favorite TV show: “Two and a Half Men.”
Dream job: orthodontist.
If she could spend one day with anyone in history, it would be: “Michelangelo. He had to have a really steady hand to paint the Sistine Chapel. It’s a beautiful piece of artwork and very intricate.”
Favorite food: “Picadillo. It’s a Cuban dish with hamburger, peppers, onions and tomato sauce — a little bit of everything. You serve it with black beans and yellow rice.”
Favorite entertainer: Gerard Butler.
Dream vacation: “Italy — it’s beautiful.”
Secret wish: “I wish people wouldn’t dwell in the past, but live their life to the fullest.”