COTTONWOOD - Charlie Furrey and Victor Anaya are eighth grade students at Cottonwood Middle School. Both are very good students who take algebra at Mingus Union High School and will be eligible to take advanced placement calculus, which, in turn, will earn them college credits.
Charley said his favorite subjects are math and science.
"I like science because of how you learn certain things that answer questions you've had," Charley said.
Victor says math and social studies are his favorite subjects.
"I like social studies because history fascinates me," Victor explained. "If just one little thing had changed we would not be where we are today."
Charley couldn't pick just one favorite teacher; he thinks many teachers have had an impact in his education so far. But when asked if he could pick one teacher from each year of middle school that might stand out, he thought that would work.
For his sixth grade year, Charley picked Mrs. (Cherie) Heath, his math and science teacher.
"I liked her science class most," he said. "She did a lot of experimental stuff. She really knew what she was teaching."
Charlie said Mrs. Heath is fun and she really knows how to work well with students. In fact, he is currently working as an aide in her class.
In seventh grade, Mrs. (Brenda) Zolman came to Charlie's mind.
"That was my hardest year," he said. "She was great about challenging us in our math skills. In eighth grade, I've seen where that has really helped a lot."
Mr. (Mike) Gilboy is Charley's pick for eighth grade. Mr. Gilboy is a math teacher, and Charley actually doesn't have any class with him this year. But Mr. Gilboy is still a favorite because Charley says he knows and understands the students and how to work with them.
Victor picked Mrs. Casson (who retired when her husband Mike retired as Cottonwood Fire Chief) for his seventh grade favorite teacher.
"She stepped in and challenged us," he said. "She was funny and we could joke around. But when it was time to get serious, we'd get serious."
Mrs. Casson was Victor's language arts teacher, and he said that subject does not come easily for him.
"But thanks to her, it does now," Victor said. "I used to hate language arts. But I like it now. I miss her."
Ms. (Jayne) Lee, science teacher, is Victor's choice for eighth grade.
"She's active with the students," Victor said. "But she also sets us free so we can learn not to make the same mistakes over and over again."
Victor said that a lot of teachers have helped him a lot, and they have helped him prepare for high school.