The 2023 Class of Madeworthy’s Top Students
Since Madeworthy began publishing in 2017, we’ve featured either the best teachers or the best students in Fort Worth. This year, we are featuring students. Typically, we asked parents and friends to nominate their top students. This year, we decided to change things and asked the schools, instead.
What do we consider a top student? In the words of one of last year’s nominators, an 18-year-old describing her best friend, “Being a ‘top student’ doesn’t just mean ‘the smartest’ or ‘the most popular.’ A top student has the ability to act as a beautiful human being, bringing care and respect into a community without being concerned with what they’ll get back.” From the mouths of babes…
And now, the 2023 Class of Madeworthy’s Top Students in Fort Worth!
Fancy Ford, Young Women’s Leadership Academy
Fancy Ford is a junior at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy of Fort Worth (YWLA). Fancy is a dynamic spirit yet is a quiet leader. She hungers to grow academically and sees her failures as progress. Fancy loves supporting the athletics offered at YWLA. She saw a need to increase school spirit and took it upon herself to become the first YWLA mascot, and she steals the show at pep rallies. Fancy embodies the definition of a Top Student through her academics, care for others, and the pure joy that lights up every room she enters.
Everett Percifield, Hill School
2023 senior Everett Percifield started at Hill School in the ninth grade and is a great addition to the Hill School family. He is a hard-working individual in the classroom and on the playing field. Everett has participated in many of our athletic offerings and has served as a member of our National Honor Society, Student Council, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. When he’s not at school, Everett enjoys working on vehicles and serves as a leader for the middle school youth group. Everett is the epitome of a well-rounded student, and we are the ones that have been blessed to have him as a student.
Danica Richey, St. Paul Lutheran School
Danica is an eighth grader at St. Paul Lutheran School. Danica’s character shines through in her many volunteer activities, including the Benbrook Library, Braille Bibles, and Linus Project, among others. At school, she is a supportive teammate on the basketball team, a leader in school musicals, and part of the Odyssey of the Mind State Championship Team. Her works have been published twice by the Society of Young Inklings Books. What is most remarkable about this young lady is her faith, humility, and kindness. She encourages those around her and brings smiles to their faces daily.
Mitchell McPherson, Key School
Mitchell has a truly kind and compassionate heart for others. He demonstrates patience, empathy, respect, and integrity towards both his peers and adults. Mitchell will always hold the door for others without being asked, encourage his peers when they are struggling or feeling down, and offer companionship when he sees someone without a friend. He overheard a teacher mention that she loves cooking with fresh rosemary and brought her some from his family’s garden! He is an outstanding example of the loveliest qualities a human being can possess.
Lynda Clayton, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts
Lynda may be the most well-rounded, resilient student ever. She makes the world a better place. For her Girl Scout Gold Award, she created a suicide prevention program, Not One More, presented to teachers at our school. Lynda is passionate about mental health and has been a willing resource for the entire student body of FWAFA. [As a classroom aide] she wrote a complete lesson plan to teach the structure of the Judicial Branch for a class period including interactive slides and activities to keep students engaged. If you want something done well, ask Lynda to do it or oversee it.
Clay Upchurch, All Saints’ Episcopal School
Clay Upchurch, ASES Class of 2023 and head prefect for All Saints’ Episcopal School, is part of the Tad Bird Honors College where he conducted an original research project entitled, The Effects of COVID-19 on the Tourism Industry and its Effect on the World. For his Senior Capstone and Design, he is currently partnering with Care Foundation, [an organization] that focuses on improving the lives of people with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Clay is a varsity athlete, an Eagle Scout, and is a regular speaker for his family’s tourism business.
Joseph Muraski, Nolan Catholic School
Joseph Muraski is a young man of integrity. What makes him a beautiful human being is his sense of humor and ability to handle setbacks maturely. Joseph is a natural leader. He was selected varsity football captain during his junior year due to his ability to get the team to work together. Joseph’s faith is an integral part of his life. He heavily relies on it when making decisions. His faith has given him the compassion needed to accept others. Joseph has learned to deal calmly with setbacks by relying on his faith.
Will Conner, Fort Worth Academy
Will Conner is intellectually curious and makes strong connections not only across content areas but also to events happening around the world. Will is a world traveler, which has helped develop his broad worldview. He seeks to understand different perspectives and is very mature with differences of opinion. Will is not only a strong leader but also a great teammate. He is willing to give others the opportunity to lead while he supports their ideas. Outside of school, Will is an avid gamer with a large online following and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.