Looks Bright: A creative star is born in Javier Dantin

Published 12:14 am Saturday, June 16, 2018

LAPLACE — Quiet and studious, rising John L. Ory eighth grader Javier Dantin is driven by a creative spirit.

Rising eighth grader Javier Dantin plays the piano at John L. Ory Magnet.

He sees himself one day building complex worlds as a video game designer or putting his musical talents to work in acting.

A member of choir since sixth grade, Javier was accepted into the talented music program last year after being recommended by an instructor.

Talented music encompasses vocals and musical instruments, Javier said, though his interests lie primarily in singing.

In recent John L. Ory choir productions, Javier took on the vocal roles of Scar in The Lion King and Gaston’s sidekick LeFou in Beauty and the Beast.

“Seeing the shows from the year before is what made me decide to join choir,” Javier said. “Scar and LeFou are very different characters, and it’s fun because you get to be someone different than you normally are for a little while.”

Javier said his interest in musical performance began long ago, and he’s working to broaden his horizons with piano lessons.

Eighth grader Javier Dantin and seventh grade English and social studies teacher Matthew Cox take a break for a picture at John L. Ory in LaPlace.

Talented in arts and academics, Javier is classified as a gifted student by IDEA testing. He’s achieved principal’s list since first grade and has never made less than an ‘A’ on a report card.

“I work hard so I can do better later in life and have better opportunities,” Javier said.

A strong family bond with his parents, Jerry and Maria Dantin of LaPlace, older brother Enrique and younger sister Liliana keeps him focused while after-school activities keep him busy.

He joined LaPlace-based Boy Scouts Troop 406 at age 10 after aging out of Cub Scouts. Troop 406 emphasizes service in the River Parishes and within the troop, allowing Javier to serve as a mentor to the younger boys.

Scout activities also include camping trips and quests for merit badges, Javier said.

When he’s not taking on the outdoors, practicing music or playing video games, Javier serves his school in Jr. Beta Club and Student Council.

He’s a member of John L. Ory’s Book Club, a group that recently traveled to Disney World to experience the Disney-themed “Explorers” book series.

Seventh grade English and social studies teacher Matthew Cox said Javier stands apart from other middle school students in his ability to comprehend the abstract.

“It’s one thing to get a kid motivated by hands-on activities and objects they’re manipulating, but he can stay actively engaged based on reading and thought alone,” Cox said. “He’s very attentive and he participates well, but beyond that, he always comes up with great observations about what we’re studying. He knows how to ask great questions.”

According to Cox, Javier leads by example each time he comes to class prepared and encourages other students to join in class discussions.