Two Vance County Schools fifth graders share the November Student Spotlight, whose goal is to celebrate exceptional students who are making a difference in their schools.
This month’s honorees are Olivia Zheng of Dabney Elementary and MiLay Cheek at New Hope Elementary, according to Grace Herndon, VCS Communication & Innovative Support.
The Student Spotlight program, sponsored by Vance County Schools and the Vance County Public School Foundation, aims to celebrate students who demonstrate excellence in academics and exhibit commendable qualities like kindness, dedication and a commitment to personal growth.
Olivia Zheng, Dabney Elementary
Olivia Zheng, a fifth grader at Dabney Elementary, is described as a model student. She is an excellent student and also promotes a harmonious school environment. Olivia’s
love for math and dreams of a future in the medical field showcase her passion for learning and making a difference. Her motivation to attend school comes from positive experiences with teachers and friendships. She is fascinated by the history of the Mayans and Aztecs and enjoys helping peers with homework.
Aside from academics, Olivia has always aspired to visit Hawaii. If Olivia could have any superpower, she would choose teleportation so that she could go to Disneyland. Moreover, she actively contributes to her school community by assisting peers with homework, showcasing her commitment to collaboration. Her advice to fellow students is to work and study hard, listen to teachers, and follow the rules. Olivia’s admiration extends to her parents,
who serve as a source of care and support in her life. If given a magic wand, Olivia’s wish would be for money.
MiLay Cheek, New Hope Elementary
MiLay has a love of learning and demonstrates a dedication to whatever she does. Since
transitioning from virtual school to New Hope, MiLay has felt the warmth of the school community
and the encouragement from dedicated teachers, especially Mrs. Broughton, who keeps her excited about learning. MiLay’s passion for literature is evident, finding joy in reading for fun. Academic goals fuel her dreams, with hopes of attending STEM Early High and ultimately reaching Harvard to pursue her passion of becoming a veterinarian. MiLay has taken an interest in the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas in Social Studies. While MiLay focuses on school and family, she finds inspiration in her aunt and mom—two strong role models who embody resilience and hard work.
Beyond academics, MiLay extends kindness to her peers, stepping in to mediate conflicts and create a positive atmosphere. Her dream adventure takes her to Washington, DC, where she envisions exploring the White House with friends. Her advice to fellow students centers on making good choices, focusing on schoolwork, and setting life goals. If granted a superpower, MiLay would choose mind reading to understand people’s thoughts.