Fourth grader Caroline Thurman is an inspiration for both teachers and students at Allendale Elementary.

As a cancer survivor who has seen her share of challenges, Caroline remains focused on being the best student she can be.

“We’re proud to select Caroline Thurman as our Academic All-Star,” said Allendale Principal Dr. Cindy Davis. “She is an amazing student who comes to school each day with a smile on her face. Caroline exhibits perfect behavior and effort in the classroom, and she is so deserving of this honor.”

Caroline says there are two things that make going to school at Allendale special.

“I love my friends,” said Caroline. “The teachers are nice too. They help me when I need it.”

Caroline’s favorite subjects tend to rotate between science and reading.

“Right now, science is my favorite,” said Caroline, who’s been known to make home-made slime in her free time. “One time in class, we got little animals like crickets to put in a terrarium.”

According to her mom, Dana, Caroline hopes to have a job one day where she can help other kids like her.

“She wants to be a child life specialist who helps children who’ve gone through cancer treatments,” said Dana. “They organize fun things for the kids to do and have celebrities come in and play with the patients.”

Those who know her best say Caroline has the determination and drive to accomplish any goal she sets for herself.

“She just wants to do well,” said Dana. “Her motivation comes from within because she likes to do the right thing.”

Although earning the Academic All-Star award is no small task, Caroline says the hardest part may have been accepting it in front of the entire school.

“I was scared,” said Caroline, who was clearly surprised by the November 15 announcement. “I have stage fright.”