Fourth-grader 'finding his curiosity' at Ross

Apr. 19—Ten-year-old Ross Elementary School fourth-grader De'Anthony Flowers' mind moves so fast that sometimes he has to wait for his mouth to catch up.

Ross Principal Raquel Rodriguez said Flowers has an inner drive that propels him forward and he's always leading discussions in class and helping his peers. Flowers was one of the students interviewed by Ector County ISD Superintendent Scott Muri at his State of the District address in March.

Flowers said he loved being part of the event.

"It gave me a chance to spread my inspiration that I would love to do one day — to spread information around the world, if not the nation; to inspire kids that are going to be like me one day, well hopefully," Flowers said.

What does being like him mean? A kid that is motivated, curious and cares about others.

"They don't have to have good grades, but I would commend for them to do so. They could be at least successful in life," Flowers said.

He has two sisters, one who is older and one who is younger.

Flowers went to Pease Elementary School before coming to Ross about three years ago. He has loved his teachers, particularly his second-grade teacher Stacy Booe and fourth-grade teacher Catherine Caruso.

His favorite subject in school has varied throughout the year.

"I think it depends what we are learning on it because first at the beginning of school year, I really love(d) social studies because I like to learn about history. But in the middle of the year, I learned I liked math, because it was becoming more interesting and we're learning about more stuff. But now in the end of the year, I'm pretty sure I like reading because we're doing book novels, which I love so far," Flowers said.

His most prized book currently is Holes because the book can be entertaining, but also interesting. Flowers said the class discusses the book and shares ideas with each other.

In his opinion, Holes is most likely an example of the way a detective should think about cases.

"When we discuss our ideas, I like to hear other kids' ideas because you can learn lots of ideas from this book," Flowers said.

As far as other students, Flowers said he likes to make them feel like they can accomplish what they need to and encourages them not to give up.

"And once we're done with all this, we can enjoy our time," he added.

When he grows up, Flowers said he wants to be a detective, either in law enforcement or as a private eye. He's leaning toward being a private detective because that would mean that he could go on his own missions and it would help him come up with more ideas and solve cases and crimes.

"Because I watch with curiosity and sometimes my curiosity can never be found. The book Holes has has lots of curiosity," he said.

When he says his curiosity can't be found, he said it sometimes gets the best of him and he keeps trying to ask questions but people don't know what he's saying and thinking.

He enjoys school because he likes learning new subjects and he can meet like-minded people.

"I have lots of friends like this in the school and especially in my class," Flowers said.

When he understands something, he'll get excited and something happens in his brain and he said it was like a vacation in his head, Counselor Mollie Jones said.

Flowers said that's why he says, "Oh, because his curiosity has just been found."

Flowers also is an avid participant in Ross' morning assemblies that include the U.S. pledge, the Texas pledge, the Ross Rams pledge and then they review the school's vision statement.

"It's like a wake up to have a great day because it's a perfect time for it and ... a good motivational thing," he added.

He noted that they use big words that have helped him with motivation, encouragement and scholarship.

"We call ourselves scholars, which I do appreciate," Flowers said. But sometimes, because he's in the gifted and talented program, people think he's "super duper smart."

He says he's smart, "but I'm not that smart."

Flowers said one of his goals so far is to become the "best detective in history, which is going to be a hard goal, but I'm pretty sure I may be able to achieve if not become the best in the United States ...," Flowers said.

Jones said she has seen Flowers grow quite a bit since he's come to Ross.

"He wasn't as vocal. He might have been a little more shy, so I have loved watching him become more courageous and in speaking and getting to know him. I think his sister leaving our campus definitely gave him a little bit of motivation to come out of his shell a little bit. But he is an amazing kid. He's kind, he's helpful, he's supportive. He looks out for others and he really takes on the things that we want for our students. He models that in every way," Jones said.

Rodriguez agrees.

"There are two things about De'Anthony that really encourage me as the school leader. First, his ability to share his academic courage with his peers. I see the drive that he has. It's his intrinsic motivation. He does it because he wants it," Rodriguez said.

"And he helps his classmates want it, too," Jones said. "Whenever he wants it and lives it, that it carries over to his classmates, so if they're struggling, he's quick to help them."

Flowers said when he doesn't understand something, he tries to hold back his anger and tries not to get discouraged.

"Because there's still things in life that I haven't learned, so there's no need for me to get mad at something that I don't know," he added.