Student of the week: Dakota Coddy MacNeill

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dakota &8220;Coddy&8221; MacNeill, a 12-year-old sixth grader at Columbiana Middle School, is Shelby County Reporter Student of the Week.

MacNeill&8217;s family moved to Columbiana from Florida in August where he said his home was condemned following the hurricanes there. He said his family came to Alabama because they had family here.

MacNeill said he liked school in Alabama better than he did in Florida because it was more welcoming.

The son of Jacki and Mac MacNeill, he has three sisters and one brother.

Sixth Grade science teacher Marcia Murrah selected him as Student of the Week.

&8220;He&8217;s a very thoughtful young man. He does excellent work in the classroom. He is always ready to help others,&8221; she said. &8220;He has interesting stories that relate to our unit we study. Coddy is everyone&8217;s friend.&8221;

MacNeill said his favorite subject is science, &8220;because I like learning about different ways of life. (Marcia Murrah) is a good teacher … she&8217;s great,&8221; he said.

&8220;The kids in the class are all different, and there is always something going on. It&8217;s entertaining.&8221;

MacNeill said his favorite teacher is coach Gary Butcher, &8220;because he&8217;s like a big kid. He&8217;s really fun to hang around with.&8221;

He said his grades are now As and Bs. He enjoys hunting, fishing, riding four-wheelers and playing video games.

He said his family is involved in helping to get children adopted from the Ukraine and that he interacts with them.

He said of being with children who speak a different language, &8220;It&8217;s like communicating with a baby. You know what they mean by facial expressions and head movements.&8221;

MacNeill also likes to read books with a lot of drama like &8220;The Chronicles of Narnia.&8221;

He said his aunts and uncles, cousins and, of course, his mom and dad are all his favorite superheroes.

He said his aunts and uncles are a really big part of his life now.

&8220;They&8217;re really supportive of what I want to do.&8221;

He named aunts and uncles Anita and Larry Gibson and Jay and Jennifer Chrisman and cousins Josh and Rachel Gibson.

When he grows up, MacNeill said he wants to become a pastor or chaplain, &8220;because I really love God and what he does for us like us being born in the United States and all of the miracles he&8217;s done for us.&8221;

As to college, Coddy said he wants to go to Auburn University because his uncle told him that it was a really good college