By Elaine Pool

Townes is a very smart child; he is well-rounded, playing several sports. He is a good friend and is very eloquent when one is talking to him.

Sometimes when meeting a student for the first time, it is obvious that he or she is a rare gem. This is the case with Townes Wilhite, a 6th grade student at First Baptist Church School (FBCS), and SB Magazine’s Private School Student of the Month. Townes is an 11-year-old who talks and acts like someone much older. He is articulate and aware of his strengths and weaknesses, and yet is still able to be a “real kid.” He loves playing soccer and tennis, reading Michael Vey books, and is on the Student Council at school. He describes his soccer travel team as “everything a kid wants to do – run and scream.” He is not as thrilled with having morning routines; he wants more time to do what he wants to do, but he understands the necessity of those routines. He freely admits that he is not good at being organized; he said that his older sister and his mother help him with it, especially in the first week of school. Townes’ favorite food is spaghetti from Monjunis; he is not as thrilled with salads or chicken – he said they are “too plain.”

Townes plans to become an engineer and an architect; he already knows of some nearby colleges that offer programs he is interested in. While he loves the idea of building commercial buildings such as office complexes, he is not very attracted to the concept of house design or building. He wants people to know that he is very dedicated to his religion; “God is a big part of my success, and I am very blessed to be at FBCS.” He noted that growing up can be a little hard; while grown-ups may “expect you to do certain things, they might get mad if I offer my opinion.

It’s hard to grow up and still be a kid.” The best thing about growing up, he said, is that he has more free time to do what he wants. Townes can readily see himself as a 25-year-old; he sees himself as a hard-working person trying to start a business and a family, a serious, focused, on-task resident of Shreveport.

FBCS Middle School Director Jessica Burford said that Townes is a very smart child; he is well-rounded, playing several sports. He is a good friend and is very eloquent when one is talking to him. Townes enjoys being involved in different activities, including service projects to help put back into the community. He is in the Gifted program at FBCS, lists Math as his strongest subject, and likes problem-solving pursuits, such as crime scene (CSI) puzzles in school. Townes said that he likes middle school better than elementary school because changing classes is more interesting than being stuck in one class for three hours.

If he could offer advice to his 2nd-grade self, Townes would tell him that “it gets better, and you’ll have so many friends and so many good people around you; try to make friends as fast as possible.” Townes chose his 2nd-grade self because he and his family moved to Shreveport at the start of that school year, and he knows what changing schools feels like. Here’s what Townes had to say when asked what he would tell people about his school: “First Baptist Church School is a great school. In second grade, I didn’t know much about God. FBCS focuses on Christianity; the Bible classes helped me with my faith and being a better person. First Baptist is very welcoming and gives me a sense of protection that I don’t know you’ll feel anywhere else.”