Erik McKune

Age: 17

School: Bettendorf High School

Parents/guardians: Tammy McKune

Why was student nominated? "Erik has worked very hard in his classes to better his grades becoming a more productive and successful student," school officials said. "He is always positive even when challenges enter his life. Recently, he has used what he has learned in his Successful Skills class to better himself and those around him."

What are you most proud of? “The person I have become over the year, much more positive.”

What makes you happy? “Seeing others smile around me.”

What teacher has inspired you and why? Ms. Mahoney because she always has a positive attitude and Mrs. Leibfriend because she has helped me learn more about myself and how to be the person I want to be.”

What is your reaction to honor? “Totally surprised!”