Kayla Hergott knows what it means to be a role model: she's the second child in a family of five, so her younger siblings are always looking up to her.
"I want all of the teachers and all of the kids in school to be able to trust me and turn to me if they need help," said Kayla, the 10-year-old daughter of Lonnie and Colleen Hergott, of Martinez.
Dan and Holly Holloway, of Martinez, open their house to Kayla each week, where she plays with the Holloway children - Sarah Beth, 6; Daniel, 4, and Will, 2. The Holloways are expecting their fourth child in late March, and Mrs. Holloway said she has Kayla over to entertain her children while she gets cleaning and other chores accomplished.
"She comes over once a week to play with and entertain the kids," Mrs. Holloway said. "One of my favorite things about having Kayla over here is she is such a positive role model for my 6- and 4-year-olds. She's always so honest and is such a peacemaker. She's such a good example for the kids to be around."
Jane White, Kayla's fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek Elementary School, says her pupil is mature far beyond her years and exudes a sincere interest in helping others.
"She is such a dynamic young lady," White said. "I am always so impressed with her desire to succeed and achieve above and beyond the typical expectations. She makes the extra effort to know more than the typical fifth-grader."
White said Kayla often will take the time to find out the answer to a question she might have, not for the extra recognition but because she truly wants to know.
"When planning lessons, I often ponder how I can make the lessons more challenging, thus more interesting for Kayla," she said. "She definitely takes great pride in the quality of her work, and her grades clearly reflect this achievement. Kayla continually motivates me to differentiate my lessons in order to meet her at the level in which she is working. She is an outstanding young lady who deserves to be recognized for her positive attitude, strong work ethic and excellent academic achievement."
Mrs. Holloway also offers a compliment for Kayla.
"She is very sweet. Any mom and dad would be proud to have a daughter as sweet as Kayla,'' she said.
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