Busy eighth-grader named FJHS student of the year

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 24, 2009

FERRIDAY — Sankari Washington is a busy 13-year-old.

She’s the vice president of the National Council of Negro Women Youth Section — Natchez Division, a member of 4-H, a mentor in the Girls Helping Girls program, sings in three church choirs and is a youth Sunday school teacher and secretary at one of her churches.

While she does all this, she’s learning to play the piano and maintaining an A-B average in school.

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And now she’s been named the Ferriday Junior High School student of the year.

“I was excited for myself and proud of myself when I heard I had been chosen,” she said.

“My mother was talking about it, saying she thought maybe I would get it, and next thing you know, it happened.”

The school’s faculty and staff choose the student of the year, and the decision is based on academics, extracurricular involvement and character.

Some of her involvement, like with the National Council of Negro Women, seemed natural. She’s a third generation member, and as youth section vice president Washington speaks at the organization’s local seminars and has other leadership functions.

Some of her other involvements are a natural outgrowth of lifelong activities, like her participation in the St. Mark Baptist Church, Mercy Seat Baptist Church and St. James Baptist Church choirs.

“I’ve been singing since I was 5, and I started learning piano this summer,” she said. “I like singing and I want to know how to play the piano and sing at the same time.”

Washington is involved with the Girls Helping Girls mentoring program at Vidalia Upper Elementary because virtue can be its own reward, she said.

“I was picked for that program because someone believed in me, and I just like helping people and enjoy knowing I can help somebody,” she said.

In school, she has always been on the principal’s list or honor roll when report cards came out, and Washington said she especially enjoys taking math, reading and English classes.

“I like English and reading because I like to read, and I like math because I like working hard to find something out at the end (of a problem),” she said.

For the future, Washington said she wants to attend Xavier University and eventually open a private dentistry practice.

“I just like teeth,” she said. “I like to practice flossing my little brother’s teeth. It’s just something that has always fascinated me.”

Sankari is the daughter of Stephanie and Stacy Murphy.