Rick Wright’s first memory of Murray Elementary School actually takes place on the bus.
When the now-5th-grader boarded his bus on the first day of kindergarten, he stumbled and fell. But what he remembers most about that day is the help he received from his bus driver, Ms. Sandy.
Ms. Sandy helped him up and let him sit in the seat behind her, and the two became fast friends. That’s what stands out most to Rick, and is one of his three main tenets: make good friends and keep them.
“That’s what I always tell my sisters,” Rick said of his siblings, Chance and Loretta. “Stay well behaved, listen to your parents and teachers, and make good friends and keep them.”
In turn, these three tenets have made him well-known as a role model in the Murray community. He makes a point to greet each person he passes each day, and even chat if there’s enough time before classes start.
“It’s a good way to get to know people and make friends,” he said.
And he plans on taking his own advice as he moves on to Henley Middle School next year, where his father is a sixth-grade history teacher. Which, he said, is one of the reasons history is his favorite subject.
“I like to debate with my dad over different parts of history,” Rick said, “and I like to learn about the geography.”
If Rick had to pick a time in history that he’s most interested in, there are two time periods that come to mind: the Civil War and World War II. With several family members who work in law enforcement or have a history in the military, it’s no surprise that these time periods are of interest to Rick.
In fact, he himself wants to be in the military one day.
“I’m not sure what branch,” he said, “but I know I want to be an engineer or a lawyer in the military because I like to build things and I like to argue.”
But it’s not all arguing and debating for Rick. In his free time he likes to unwind by cooking with his family or golfing. Rick got into cooking while helping prepare dinners for his family, and has now branched out to making new recipes for family get-togethers.
Over the holidays, Rick tried a new recipe to share with his family: bulgogi meatballs from scratch. The Korean dish, a savory marinade also known as Korean barbeque, was a favorite at the gathering, Rick said. By the end of the night, there were no meatballs in sight.
This drive to try new things is what makes Rick excited to move on to middle school. Although he will miss Murray, he is looking forward to a change in scenery. He’ll be able to meet new people and make new friends, of course, but there is one new thing he’s most excited to try.
“I’m interested in how lockers work,” Rick said. “I’ve always seen them, but I’ve never used one before.”