Name, age: Donny Frankenbach, 10
Achievement: Donny is just in intermediate school, but is nearly fluent in Spanish, helps volunteer at the blood drive and is on his way to conquering the alto saxophone.
Key to Awesomeness: Donny has been in the school district's dual language program since kindergarten and loves playing his saxophone.
He is a part of the second class of dual language students in the Southampton School District. Each week he does an equal amount of work in Spanish and in English. He takes social studies and Spanish in Spanish and English and math in English.
There are two classrooms of students that switch between learning in Spanish and English on a daily basis. The idea is to teach students in the language and dedicate more time to it then a normal language program so these students become fluent.
“The idea was to have a goal that they become fluent by the end of sixth grade,” said Erin Frankenbach, Donny’s mother. She said she is not sure Donny is fluent quite yet, but he definitely can carry on a complex conversation.
"It’s really fun," Donny said. "It's great because the teachers are really nice and sometimes we combine classes and do projects together.”
Donny also took up playing the saxophone this year. He is first chair and Mrs. Rumph, the band teacher, asked him to participate in the New York State School Music Association, because she thought he was ready only after a half of a year of practice. He gets to do a solo for a judge to showcase his talent.
Donny said that he practices a lot, including at night, with weekly private lessons, and in school, sometimes even during recess.
He also started out his fifth grade year out right academically, being on the principal’s list both quarters, which is awarded to those who have an 88 average or higher.
He enjoyed participating in technology club after school this year. At tech club, he made a bench from scratch by cutting the wood, assembling the bench and putting finish on the wood
Donny also gives his time as a volunteer at the Southampton Fire Department blood drive, where he hands out clam chowder to people who have donated blood.