Sixteen-year-old Addison Weathers is a hard-working student who enjoys a challenge, loves her teachers and aspires to be one of the first in her family to finish college.

When it came time to select an Academic All-Star, Renaissance High School Principal Dr. Brian Bass says the choice was clear.

“Addison epitomizes academic resiliency,” said Bass. “She is conscientious and commits herself to doing her absolute best on everything she does. She is independent and responsible but does not hesitate to ask for help when necessary. In addition, Addison is kind, accepting, and greets everyone with a smile.”

Addison began attending Renaissance as a freshman after hearing about its impressive art program, smaller classrooms and project-based learning. Now a sophomore, Addison says the school has more than lived up to her expectations.

“This school is amazing,” said Addison. “I love the teachers. They really build a connection with each individual student which is difficult at most schools because there are so many students.”

Although she loves to paint and draw, Addison says it took her some time to fully appreciate Renaissance’s art program.

“I thought art for me was going to be easy because I knew what I was doing,” said Addison. “It’s actually a challenge. I didn’t like it at first, but now I appreciate how my teacher challenges me to get out of my comfort zone.”

Another class that is making an impact in Addison’s life is English.

“I love my English teacher, Ms. Green,” said Addison. “She taught me things about myself that I didn’t know before, because I was always a perfectionist. She taught me that I don’t have to be perfect all the time.”

Instead of always striving to be perfect, Addison says she tries to stay focused on the larger goal at hand.

“I want to go to college because that would be a big thing in my family,” said Addison. “I also want to have a career one day where I can wake up every morning and want to go to work. That’s why I need to focus on school.”

And while Addison knows school will have its ups and downs, she says she’s committed to finishing what she started.

“I’ve come so far,” said Addison. “I’m not going to give up now. That’s just who I am.”