Since moving to America with his family from Burma a few years ago, Rual Peng didn't get frustrated at his lack of knowledge of English - he got to work.
Showing a huge willingness to learn, the Miller Middle School eighth grader has made tremendous strides in his language skills.
"He goes above and beyond to try to understand," said Jen Beals, his former life skills teacher at Miller. "You would want 800 students just like him. He's eager to learn and eager to want to get it right."
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Miller Middle School eighth grader Rual Peng sits in a classroom at the school Friday. A native of Burma, Peng has made great strides in learning the English language in the last few years.
The 15-year-old carries a dictionary with him most of the day, so if he comes across a word he doesn't know, he looks it up. His progress has surprised even him.
"I can't believe I can speak English a lot better now," Peng said.
When he is not in school, he stays very busy in athletics. He is a four-sport athlete at Miller competing in football, wrestling, basketball and track.
"I just wanted to try them," Peng said. "I was curious."