Cris Cicconi, the band and musical director at Power Ranch Elementary School, says Catie Davies is “the kind of student every teacher dreams of having.”
“She’s very humble. She always puts everyone before her,” he said. “She’s always looking to do better — always asking how she can do better. (She has the) desire and dedication to be the best.”
The 14-year-old eighth-grader at Higley’s Power Ranch Elementary School is an All-State French horn player and will star in her school’s production of “Peter Pan” next month.
She is student council secretary and a member of the National Junior Honor Society.
Catie recently earned second place in a state essay contest on art. Her club soccer team placed fourth in the state, and on Thursday she received Gilbert’s American Youth Character Award.
The award recognizes students who exemplify six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
“I kind of feel honored,” Catie said. “I’m just being myself, and it’s nice to know people recognize that.”
Catie, daughter of Jim and Linda Davies, has been performing in musicals at Power Ranch since fifth grade. She’s had parts in “School House Rock,” “Oliver” and “The Music Man,” and has student-directed “Annie” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
Performing on stage is worth all the effort, Catie said.
“It’s so much fun (being) on stage. You let stress out. It lets you be confident,” she said. “I’m not nervous for the musical because it’s so much fun.”
She enjoys directing, too, but said it’s more pressure.
Catie played the violin in fifth and sixth grade, then switched to the French horn.
“I love the French horn because it’s so complex,” she said.
In her essay titled “Why My Education, Without the Arts, Would be Incomplete,” a second-place winner in the Arizona Alliance for Arts Edu cation student essay contest, Catie wrote, “In my part, the arts are what help me get up in the morning. They are not only full of learning, they are also a lot of fun, and kids love them for that reason. ... The arts don’t only enhance my life, they embrace my life and there is no reason why they shouldn’t be a part of school.”
It’s no surprise that music is one of Catie’s favorite subjects and she looks forward to taking an acting class next year at Williams Field High School, though she’s not yet sure what she wants to do when she grows up.
“If I could, I would love to act or do fine arts,” she said. “Something that challenges, something I’d have to work for.”
What: Power Ranch Elementary School’s production of “Peter Pan”
Where: Higley Center for the Performing Arts, 4132 E. Pecos Road
When: 6:30 p.m. May 16, 17 and 18