Gabriel Plagenza is a straight shooter. He looks you in the eye, responds candidly to questions, and describes himself as honest and easygoing. He is also nine years old.
Gabriel is in the fourth grade at Medeiros Elementary and has been rewarded for his maturity through a leadership role in the classroom. He underwent an application and interview process for the role of classroom police officer and was appointed to the position for the entire school year.
“I’ve got my badge and my clipboard. I make sure everyone is in line and that everyone is participating. If anyone’s behavior is out of control, I write them a ticket,” Gabriel said.
Gabriel explained that the classroom system he works to keep in order issues students fake money for good behavior and on-time assignments, but penalizes them for poor behavior.
When Gabriel isn’t busy keeping the fourth grade in line he enjoys practicing math and spending time outdoors. His especially enjoys his Sunday ritual: accompanying dad to work at his independent recycling plant. Gabriel spends the day working beside his dad and even knows how to drive a Bobcat loader.
“I want to do my dad’s job when I get older,” Gabriel explains.
When he isn’t in school or at his dad’s work, Gabriel likes to be a regular kid. In fact, he plans to let loose in celebration of Red Ribbon Week by spiking his hair today for the crazy hair themed day at his school.
“I’m going to make it stand up like Dr. Porcupine,” Gabriel said as his face lit up.
Despite being wise for his years, Gabriel still manages to make time to enjoy his childhood and anticipates his next endeavor: youth wrestling. Fortunately for the other nine year olds, weight and not maturity is the main factor.