Bronson Hooper’s parents and teachers say they frequently tell the 12 year old he needs to relax and find some balance in his life, but that’s not what he’s about.
“I like to study,” Bronson said. “I like the challenge.”
Bronson’s penchant for learning boosted him to first place wins in both of Duncanville ISD’s annual academic bees. In mid-January, Bronson won the district spelling bee. Two weeks later, he took the top spot in the geography bee.
There is no known record of a student winning both the district spelling and geography bee competitions. “He’s always been very focused about how he approaches things,” said Bronson’s mom Marsha Hooper. “He takes it almost to an extreme.”
Bronson does have other activities in his young life. He is a pitcher for his baseball team and he plays the bassoon in the Byrd Middle School band, but the truth is; he’s happiest when his nose is in a book.
“The child asked for math books for Christmas,” said Bronson’s dad, Byron Hooper. “He does this for fun.”
Bronson’s teachers say he’s equally focused in the classroom. “He has an answer sometimes before I’m done formulating the question in my mind,” said social studies teacher Letizia Johnson.
Bronson’s quick draw responses sometimes elicit groans from his friends, but science teacher Doris Sheffield says his intensity many times motivates other students. “Sometimes I let him teach if he’s done the research,” Sheffield said.
Research is something Bronson wants to pursue into college and his career. He has told his parents he wants to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study aerospace engineering. Ultimately, Bronson wants to work for NASA.
Marsha and Byron Hooper are understandably proud of Bronson – particularly for persisting with the district competitions for three years until he reached his goal. Bronson, however, isn’t satisfied with his success at the district level. “I want to keep going all the way to nationals,” Bronson said.
And what does he think will get him there? “It’s just sheer determination,” he answered.