Leadership and sensitivity strong in self-motivated student Natalie Carlson is the daughter of Chris and Staci Carlson and sister to Kori and Andrew. At Crestwood Elementary, teachers and staff are quick to point out that Natalie is extremely self-motivated and a strong leader who demonstrates kindness and warmth on a daily basis. Natalie is a creative and intelligent person who always has a smile on her face. According to her teachers, “Natalie notices other students who are in need and seeks out and develops friendships with those who might not have a friend.” A wonderful role model, Natalie leads others in a positive way without being bossy. “She is kind and considerate to every student in our class.” True to nature, Natalie stepped up as a leader against bullying in her Girl Scout troop. She shows a level of patience that is beyond her years and has a knack for encouraging others to participate when they might not otherwise do so. Teachers say Natalie’s motivation comes from a strong motivation to gain a high level of achievement. This determination is coupled with her belief in caring for others and belief in the importance of being a good person. She is outgoing, friendly, and an independent thinker who radiates positive energy. In addition to her motivating personality, Natalie is consistently in the top of her grade academically and has been invited to participate in the 2009 People World Leadership Forum. She also received the Leadership award at Springhill Camp two years in a row. An avid reader, Natalie also loves to wakeboard and plays basketball for the Rockford Community Education as well as AAU. She enjoys playing the piano and has been a Girl Scout for four years. For her leadership ability, her high goals of achieve-ment and her ability to sense and reach out to the needs of others, Natalie is Crestwood Elementary’s 2009 Example in Excellence.