Looks Bright: Alyssa Munoz takes lively, spirited approach to LaPlace Elementary leadership

Published 12:15 am Saturday, March 2, 2019

LAPLACE — Alyssa Munoz is lively and spirited, a known leader among her peers at LaPlace Elementary School.

As eighth grade Student of the Year, Alyssa is committed to active involvement within school walls and encouraging her peers through homework help after the last bell rings.

Earning Student of the Year was a memorable experience for Alyssa, who said the big announcement came on her 14th birthday in December. Her initial reactions were surprise and relief that the portfolio she’d spent hours stressing over fared well with the judging panel.

“I was already happy, and that made my day even better,” Alyssa said. “I was super shocked because, in fifth grade, I tried and wasn’t picked. I guess I was working up to this point. I put everything into it.”

She recalls speaking about her late grandmother, Victoria Munoz, during the interview session as one of the greatest influences in her life.

Through raising children and, later, caring for her grandchildren, Victoria prioritized commitment to family without sacrificing a social life filled with exciting outings and longtime friends. It’s the type of well-rounded life Alyssa yearns to lead when she’s older.

Becoming an author is another goal for Alyssa, who cited English language arts as her favorite subject. Last week, she traveled to Lafayette to compete in creative writing at the 2019 Junior Beta Club convention.

Also, Alyssa was recently inducted as president of Junior Beta at LaPlace Elementary.

Though she hasn’t started writing a novel, Alyssa can see herself writing children’s books similar to the horror fiction “Goosebumps” series.

“Whenever you’re writing stuff down, you have this creative flow,” Alyssa said.

“It’s like you’re an artist, but you’re writing it in words. If I’m good in ELA, why should I stop writing? Why should I not succeed in what I’m good at?”

Alyssa also enjoys debate style writing where she can present two sides of an argument. However, her academic talents aren’t limited to English.

She recently won first place in the biomedical engineering at the St. John the Baptist Parish District Science Fair for her project identifying DNA. Additionally, Alyssa has received awards for scoring mastery and advanced on standardized assessments, and she’s been an honor roll student for her entire academic career.

Assistant Principal David Lewis said Alyssa has the foresight to make decisions that best impact her future.

“I feel the way she carries herself is a wonderful trait,” Lewis said. “She leads; she doesn’t follow. With this generation of teenagers, that’s very important because it’s easy to be swayed the wrong way. She’s always doing her own thing, and that goes a long way in society.”

Lewis said Alyssa is always on-point, ready for instruction and constantly looking for new ideas.

Balance has never been an issue for Alyssa, who stays active with cheerleading and Explorers Club.

In her free time, she hosts tutoring sessions.

“I tell the kids on my block who need help to bring their homework to me, and I try to explain it in a simpler way,” Alyssa said. “Sometimes teachers use big words that kids don’t understand, so I try to break it down for them.”

Alyssa is the daughter of Edward Munoz and Cindy Hymel of LaPlace.