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Alia Goode shows responsibility and compassion that goes beyond the typical expectations for a fifth-grade student.

“She is an exceptional child,” her mother, Cheryl Goode, said. “She makes me very proud. She has this burst of energy. She is always there for everybody in the family.”

Karen James, Alia’s teacher at Woodland Heights Elementary School, said Alia, an avid reader, is always eager to learn.

“In 13 years of teaching, I have never met a more determined student,” James said. “She listens intently and uses every strategy discussed in class. She realizes that education is the key to her future. Each day she works 110 percent.”

But Alia is making a difference beyond her own life and that of her mother and father, Robert. James said Alia dances with her friends at recess and never excludes anyone from the group.

“Along with her strong work ethic, Alia is kind, compassionate and always willing to help anyone,” James said. “In a school where each day I try to motivate students to take ownership of their learning, Alia motivates me to keep staying positive. She is a leader among her peers and our entire school. She is a peer helper and is always willing to help those less fortunate. She is an excellent partner to her peers. She understands she may know the answer, but always gives someone else a chance to reveal their knowledge.”

Cheryl Goode, who has two adult daughters as well, said having Alia at age 43 brought with it some worry about whether or not she would be healthy.

“God is so good,” she said. “She’s a wonderful child.”

And aAs Alia focuses on her education, her self-motivation inspires those around her.

“I’ve not seen anyone her age that mature to just get things done,” Cheryl Goode said. “She’s amazing.”

Alia’s favorite…

Things to do: Reading, singing, dancing

Food: Macaroni and cheese, salad

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