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By Alicia Couch Payne

While you will find a school full of amazing children at Buford Academy, one second grader can say that he has achieved something that only the top 2% of people in 100 countries around the world have earned. Benjamin Roeder was accepted into the elite intellectual society, Mensa. Benjamin has also been accepted into the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.

Benjamin was born in Tennessee to Al and Katie Roeder. The family relocated to Georgia before Benjamin’s first birthday. Benjamin is the oldest of three children. Katie says that Benjamin was always a very inquisitive child and would talk about things beyond his years even as early as preschool. “He could talk about tectonic plates and how volcanoes form or explain the workings of our sewer system and water filtration.” claims his mother.

His mom suspected he was gifted but it wasn’t until one particular visit to see family that she was really sure. On a clear night, his mother pointed to Venus in the night sky and Benjamin said, “that planet is named after the Roman Goddess Venus and the Greek Goddess of Aphrodite.” After that night, his parents looked into testing for him being gifted.

Books have been instrumental in Benjamin’s development. His parents would buy books on whatever topic interested him at the moment. Katie said that Ms. Lana Nix, the librarian at Buford Elementary really helped to foster Benjamin’s love of reading. Ms. Nix “did a great job of helping Benjamin find books to read.” says Katie.

Benjamin started his school career at Buford Elementary where his Kindergarten teacher was Ms. Amanda Cochran. He had Ms. Stephanie Strickland in first grade. This year he has Ms. Meghan Hunt and Ms. Twila Minshew at Buford Academy. Benjamin and his parents claim that all of his teachers have been great and they love them all.

Science, especially aeronautics and astronomy is the subject that really appeals to Benjamin. For fun, he loves to read Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books. He is in his second year as a cub scout. He is learning to code by taking classes at Code Ninjas in Dacula. Benjamin loves to learn something new each day and claims a bad day for him is where he does not learn anything new.

His parents say that he is a loving and sweet child that is full of energy. He is often found staying up late reading or studying his favorite subjects, drawing spaceships, or building Legos. His mother claims that Benjamin is pretty typical when it comes to his relationships with his siblings but says he likes to teach them things, read to them, and even play with them. When they are cooperating that is. He can tell one all about Star Wars, robotics, and even enlighten one on his favorite inventors, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.

No doubt this Buford Academy student will continue to question everyone about everything to foster his love of learning. His family and the staff at Buford City Schools are so proud of this young boy’s accomplishments. The community cannot wait to see what Benjamin does in the future with his gift. He is truly a remarkable young Wolf making his mark on the world.

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