“Oh, it’s got to be Danielle, Danielle is definitely a Whiz Kid,” said former teacher, Michelle Zawadski, of Great Beginnings Preschool.
Danielle Lomi, now 10 and a fifth grader at Calf Pen Meadow Elementary School, still attends her old pre-school in their after-school program, but what made Zawadski think of Danielle for this week’s Milford Patch Whiz Kid was that Danielle had recently brought her scuba gear in, and given a talk about sea life.
“This summer, I learned to scuba dive, but because of my asthma, they didn’t want me scuba diving more than 10 feet deep, so I did my pool test and I got certified for the pool this summer,” said Danielle.
“Danielle has asthma, and so to be a deep diver, she’ll require a pulmonary check-up once a year,” Danielle’s mother, Sharon Hamilton, elaborated. “We felt like just her learning the pool this year was a good step, and then next year, we’ll take her in the ocean.”
Although Danielle likes all her subjects at school, and scored “advanced” in all areas on last year’s CMT (Connecticut Mastery Test), her favorite subject is science:
“I think there’s a lot to learn about in science, and there’s stuff that you wouldn’t really know about otherwise,” Danielle explained.
Danielle especially likes studying animals, and in fact, has known since she was three years old that she’d like to one day become a veterinarian. Unfortunately, she is allergic to animal fur.
Her allergies led Danielle to consider a new future with animals – as a marine biologist. Hence, scuba diving last summer, and an opportunity many kids only dream of – Danielle got to swim with dolphins. One even kissed her on the nose!
But Danielle’s interests don’t lie only in the sciences. She loves school projects, and has been involved with a few other students in starting a business.
“Me and my friends wanted to do a lemonade stand, but we wanted to sell other stuff, [such as] extra books that we had or extra clothes that we had. We wanted to do a lemonade stand and a hot chocolate stand, and also sell books and shoes and stuff.”
Her mother added that now Danielle and her friends are hoping to hold a fall fair at Great Beginnings Preschool, where all the kids can get together and sell their wares.
And still, that’s not all Danielle’s up to:
“I do dance, right now I do theater, tap, jazz and ballet,” she told Milford Patch. “My favorite class is probably jazz, because you sort of learn everything, and it’s all combined.”
If there’s one thing Danielle would change, it might be to have a sibling.
“Sometimes it’s boring,” said Danielle, about being an only child.
“But Danielle’s very close with her baby cousin, so that’s kind of like having a sibling,” Danielle’s mother said.
Danielle added, “He’s five, turning six. Billy. He went to Great Beginnings too, but he has cerebral palsy, so he’s going to a mini-kindergarten at Orange Avenue [school], and we pick him up there every day.”
“It’s been a really good experience for Danielle to see what Billy’s had to go through,” said Sharon.
Acting like Billy’s older sibling, Danielle has learned mentoring and caretaking skills she might not otherwise have learned, especially because Billy of Billy’s special needs.
Danielle also has other cousins with whom she’s close, some of whom she hopes will come and teach her to play the piano. So far, she’s been teaching herself, on a full-sized keyboard in her living room.
Congratulations are much deserved, Danielle – musician, dancer, diver and great student -- you are a Whiz Kid!