One of the best parts of being at Shamrock has been watching Parker and his friends grow up together. Most of Parker's classmates come from families with long histories at Shamrock – brothers, sisters and even parents went to the school before them. They are testaments to the talents that exist in all our schools.
< Cameron is our nature-lover. In first grade, he wanted to become a crocodile hunter. In second grade, he was always talking about his pet rabbits. Last year, the kids went to a performance of "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs." In the play, the wolf was put on trial, and he explained at length why eating pigs was not a crime. Cameron's assessment: "Predators need a lot of excuses."
< Da'Quan doesn't talk much, but he is always thinking and hunting down information. In first grade, he wanted to be a museum curator. He's a native Charlottean – his mother graduated from Shamrock. He loves Michael Jackson's music and dancing. Everyone in the class is jealous of his break dance and moonwalk skills.
< Mario and Parker became close friends in kindergarten, and have stayed that way. Mario's parents are from El Salvador, and they throw terrific parties (we've been lucky enough to be invited to a few). In first grade, Mario wanted to be a house painter, just like his dad. He and Parker both like math. He's the top player in the recess soccer games.
< Lianna, who was born in Florida, is new to the class this year. She spent much of last summer reading Harry Potter. All seven books. Twice each. She also wields a mean Nerf gun in the Star Wars battles that rage in our back yard. Her parents love the outdoors, and she knows a lot about plants and trees and wildlife.
< Kaylyn is a tiny girl with big ideas. In first grade, she wanted to be a doctor. In second grade, the class elected her mayor. She takes ice skating and ballet. She loves cats, and she's a reading whiz. Her family is from Vietnam. Parker had a huge crush on her all through second grade.
J.W. is the most competitive class member – perhaps because he has four older sisters (all of whom have gone through Shamrock). He loves video games, and in first grade he wanted to become a game designer. He is also keen on reading, and piles up Accelerated Reader points almost as fast as his video game scores. He likes to tell people about the things he's learning.
< William's father is from Cambodia and his mother from Vietnam. His older sister, Steffi – now in eighth grade – was Shamrock's academic star a few years ago. William is great at math, writing, and everything else. He also likes adventure. In first grade, he wanted to be a race car driver. He's fond of anime cartoons, and has a great collection of plastic ninja weapons, which he and Parker love to battle with.
< Promise, who came to Charlotte from Philadelphia, was the top performer in the class last year. She loved learning about anything – food, music, history, science, you name it. She won the second grade spelling bee. She was especially fond of the sushi that I sometimes make Parker for lunch. We were all sorry when her family moved to a different part of town over the summer.