By his own admission, Copperas Cove Junior High School student Ashton Smith is not your average 12-year-old.
“I’m a hardworking student and I get my work done and I’m responsible,” he said.
Now a seventh-grader, Ashton maintains an A-average, was on the honor roll, and received the student of the month award for good grades and exemplary behavior.
“He perseveres and always makes sure to get his work done,” said Catherine Sharbeno, history teacher. “He’s very quiet and shy, but when it comes to answering questions, you can really tell he’s on top of things.”
Ashton plays the saxophone in the school band and recently earned a scholarship to attend a band camp this summer.
“I get to play a lot of different music that I like to listen to,” he said. “I wanted to learn how to play music and learn things that other people didn’t know.”
History is Ashton’s favorite subject in school, especially the World War I and II eras, he said.
“I like learning about all of the different countries and how people live in other countries and what went on during the wars,” he said.
At home, Ashton’s parents, Mark and Christie Washburn, are very supportive of their son’s education, helping out with homework and school projects, Ashton said.
“They like that I work hard and they think I’m responsible. They’ve always said I should go to college and get a good education, so I can get a good job.”
Mark Washburn is in the military, which has forced the family to move around a lot over the last five years. Ashton, however, does not mind the changes.
“I like it because I get to see a lot of new places.”
Ashton said his friends are proud of his achievements.
“They tell me that’s the reason they’re my friends, because they like how I accomplish a lot of stuff and I’m good at my work.”
His future ambitions include joining high school sports teams, running for student council president and applying to Baylor University to study engineering.
No matter what field he chooses, he is sure to succeed in it, Sharbeno said.
“In 20 years, I can see Ashton either writing books or even publishing-editing books.”
Ashton enjoys playing video games, sports and riding with the bike club he formed with friends.
But school is his No. 1 priority, Ashton said.
“Stay in school and do all your work ’cause good things come to you when you do. You get good rewards.”