Dutchtown eighth-grader wins state Student of the Year award _lowres

Photo provided by Jackie Tisdale -- Hiba Hasan

Dutchtown Middle School Principal Doug Walker describes student Hiba Azeem Hasan as self-confident, humble, respectful and self-assured.

Those traits and a long list of accomplishments are contributed to the eighth-grader who won the state Middle School Student of the Year award.

“Of the many positive characteristics that Hiba has, one that impresses me most is her self-confidence,” Walker said. “I have observed in her gifted class where she had to explain a process to her classmates, and she was so confident in what she said that there was little doubt she knew her topic.

“Along with Hiba’s confidence is a strong sense of humility, which demonstrates the respect she holds for her peers and all those around her.”

Dutchtown Middle School English I teacher Nawell Ponson said Hasan has a desire to learn.

“While it’s true that she can quickly catch on to new material, it isn’t what makes her special,” Ponson said. “What makes her special is how she responds when she fails to learn something right away. She doesn’t shut down, complain or feel defeated. No. Instead she asks for help, and she tries again. It is this, her quiet determination that makes her such a wonderful student and such a wonderful person.”

The Louisiana Department of Education named the 2016 Students of the Year winners and honored all 18 regional finalists for the award during a recent ceremony at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge.

The winners, one student from the elementary, middle and high school grades, were selected based on criteria that measure academic achievement, leadership skills, character and service to their schools and community.

In addition to her awards for robotics, chemistry and band, Hasan served as vice president of the Beta Club last year, vice president of the 4-H Club in 2014 and president in 2015, and vice president of the Student Council in 2014 and president in 2015.

She also is talented in the arts both as a visual artist and musician, playing flute and piccolo in the school band. She is a member of the National Junior Beta Club, 4-H Club, Science Club and the Robotics Team — where she programmed an EV3 robot and created a language app and online database. She said her dream is to one day work in the journalism field as a reporter.