Tuscaloosa City Schools, along with Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa and Child Abuse Prevention Services, will highlight and recognize Inspiring Excellence Student Of The Month from each of the 21 schools in the district during the 2023-2024 school year. Every month, two to three outstanding TCS students will be highlighted in this series.

Before the long holiday break, the fifth-grade class at Tuscaloosa Magnet School Elementary gathered in their gymnasium to honor one of their classmates as she was named their Inspiring Excellence Student of the Month.

The recipient, Ava Thakor, was humble, proud and emotional when she was surprised with the award in a ceremony members of her family were also able to attend.

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(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

"I was really happy, I did not think they were going to come at all so that was really nice," Thakor said in an interview after she was recognized.

The young woman was selected by the staff at TMSE, whose principal Preeti Nichani showered with praise.

"Ava, a diligent student with an unwavering commitment to integrity and kindness, consistently displays exceptional character within the classroom. Whether assisting classmates with challenging concepts, serving as a TMSE ambassador, or working independently, she exemplifies a strong sense of responsibility and empathy," Nichani said. "Known for her respect towards teachers and classmates, Ava creates a positive and inclusive atmosphere, contributing significantly to the overall well-being of our school. Her ability to consistently show the five TMSE core values serves as an inspiration to all students."

Thakor said she enjoys art and history, and said she believes it is her kindness that inspires others.

"[Character and inspiring excellence] means you will be not mean and you will care for other people. When you're working you don't just ignore them," Thakor said. "I can help them with work if they need it, or if they were sad or something, I would see if they're OK."

Editor's Note: This feature should have been written and published in December but was pushed back by a barrage of breaking news and time off for the holidays. We look forward to visiting the rest of the schools in the TCS system and introducing readers to their inspirational students in the remaining months of this academic year.

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Gallery Credit: (Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

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