Riku Hartman

Age: 13

School: Pleasant Valley Junior High School

Parents: Neal and Kanae Hartman

Why was student nominated? "Riku transferred to PV from Japan last spring and has had to overcome a language and culture barrier every day," said Jace Teed, counselor. "Beyond his hard work in the classroom, Riku has extra-curricular activities as well. It is also apparent that Riku is kind to others and willing to help others when possible."

What are you most proud of? "I was struggling to learn English and am way better at speaking it this year. I am also proud of being being nominated for the Bettendorf News Student of the Week."

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What makes you happy? "Since I have moved to this area from Japan, I have been able to see my dad more because he travels a lot. I like being in school and have gotten a lot of help here."

What teacher has inspired you and why? "Mr. Teed has inspired me because he encourages me to work hard and be nice to people."

What is your reaction to honor? "I was really surprised I was picked and was smiling a lot.

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