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From the Editor: Dream Teen

As summer wanes and the weather cools many of us look forward to fall and that burst of energy that comes with the brisker winds signaling the change of season. If you’re the parent of children in school, you’re also bracing for a busier pace as you punch in more critical dates on the digital calendar. Often, those commitments belong to the kids, who have to be chauffeured and chaperoned, coached and sometimes coddled to make it all happen, often on deadlines that could intimidate a type A working professional. Our children, it seems, do more than ever before and manage to do it all so well.

Yet there are those kids who appear to handle the responsibilities with adult-like aplomb, with an ease and alacrity beyond their years. We’ve all met a few of these young people, and they fascinate us with their ability to rise to any challenge with composure, heart and guts, and to excel at just about everything they put their minds to. As the parent of two school-age children, I’ve often wondered what exactly makes these kids tick? Are their talents the result of nature or nurture, education, environment or possibly luck? I posed this question to contributing writer Carol Leonetti Dannhauser, the mother of a 17- and 22-year old, who made it her mission to find out.

In her cover story, “Profile of a Super Teen,” Carol talked with experts in the education field, and she learned that high-achieving students share a number of key characteristics, some of which may surprise you. Academic chops are just a piece of their makeup. As one source reports, when these kids get their teeth into someting you just can’t stop them. They have the built-in drive to see things through, and they do so from an early age. “They’re just wired that way,” writes Carol.

For this story, Carol  also interviewed local students who embody the traits of a Super Teen. These terrific ten are featured in her piece, and they’re accomplishments and goals make for a great read. If these kids represent the future of our communities, we are in good hands, indeed.