Described as an "exceptional student" who finds the positive in every situation, Kayla Mayfield aims to make the most of every area of her life.
An all-A honor student who says math is her favorite subject, Kayla also devotes unending hours to competitive gymnastics.
"I just tried out for a class when I was younger and I liked it," she said of her participation at Hayden's Gymnastics. Today, she spends more than 15 hours a week practicing for competitions on the vault, bars, beam and floor.
Calling her gymnastics training "fun," Kayla said it's neat to do the flips that she is required to master.
"We do arm wrestles at school and because we do so much strength training, it's fun to win," she said.
When she isn't busy practicing her flips and floor routines, Kayla can be found cracking the books to learn concepts and facts.
"This week, she decided to ask her teachers for all of the homework for the week on Monday so she could get ahead in her work since her gymnastics practice just increased," said Carolyn Martindale, the teacher who nominated the fifth-grade River Ridge Elementary School pupil for a Make Kids Count article. "She comes to school every day excited. "
Teachers say Kayla is motivated to always excel and will frequently go beyond what is expected of her.
"She is a student who will always take the extra step," Martindale said. "For instance, when we watch a science video, she will take notes even if not prompted. If she is to find five interesting facts in a science passage we are reading, she will find eight to 10 facts."
Her math teacher, Kim Elsey, said the 10-year-old also always has a positive attitude.
"Kayla is a very bright student who comes to school each day with a positive attitude towards learning," Elsey said. "She does not give up and will work diligently until she understands a concept."
Elsey said her pupil willingly helps her peers who are having difficulty mastering a concept.
"She brings a smile to class with her each day and she is a joy to teach," she said.
Kayla explained that doing well in the classroom is important because it sets the tone for everything else in her life.
"It's important because if I don't do well in school, I will start having trouble with other things," said the daughter of Weston and Tonia Mayfield, of Martinez.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.