Ten-year-old Kirk Mulkey knows the secret to success is hard work. That’s why he comes to school every day ready to learn. It’s also why teachers and administrators at Oak View Elementary chose him as their Academic All-Star for the 2019-20 school year.

“Kirk has an unwavering positive attitude,” said his teachers. “He works tremendously hard and has made incredible gains as a result. This award is very well deserved.”

Kirk has attended Oak View Elementary since kindergarten and says the teachers at Oak View are fun, nice and not too stern. He also says his favorite subject is reading.

“I used to be really bored when I read, but now I see pictures in my head and I really like it when the story comes together in my mind,” said Kirk. “I especially like to read graphic novels like Treasure Hunters.”

Kirk’s least favorite subject is math, but that’s something he’s trying to change.

“My math grade is not as good as I’d like,” said Kirk. “I need to step it up a little because I want to be an engineer when I grow up and I know that will take a lot of academic work. One of my favorite things to do is to work with my papa. We do a lot of stuff with lawnmowers. It’s just really fun taking things apart and then putting them back together to see if we can do it.”

When he does face adversity, Kirk finds strength in both his parents and teachers.

“They’re just very encouraging,” said Kirk. “It’s good to know that someone believes I can actually do it. I just keep working until I get it, and it feels really good when that happens.”

More than anything, Kirk says his excitement for school stems from his quest for self-improvement.

“I just like knowing that every day I will learn something new,” said Kirk. “It might be about academics or it might not, but every day I’m going to learn something new.”