Meet Kertchie Joseph, a seventh grader at Buford Middle School. Kertchie is the daughter of Junior Clement and Jimpson; she was raised in Port-aux-prince, Haiti, but moved to Buford when she was 10 years old for the fifth grade. Kertchie has three younger siblings, Adaja, 10, Sarah, 3, and Isabella, 8 months. Adaja is currently a third grader at Buford Academy.
“My family made the move because we knew that I had better educational opportunities here in America compared to Haiti,” Kertchie said.
Her favorite thing about being in the US, specifically, has been her education.
“School here is by far better than school in Haiti,” she said. “I have a better education, and a better life understanding. I love my teachers and I appreciate them dearly.”
For being so young, Kertchie is very intelligent. She knows three languages, with Haitian Creole being her first, French being her second and English being her third.
“I enjoy learning different languages,” she said. “English hasn’t been hard for me because I’ve had great teachers and I have caught on fast.”
Kertchie’s favorite subject in school is math.
“I enjoy math because I find it to be helpful to my future,” she said. “Lots of jobs require math, and I feel as though if I understand math really well, I can be successful in the future.”
Kertchie’s favorite teacher at Buford Middle School is Ms. Misley, Kertchie’s seventh grade English and language arts teacher.
“Ms. Misley is very easy to understand and will do anything necessary to make sure we learn the material,” Kertchie said. “She also gives very important advice that will help me in the future.”
Alongside her academics, Kertchie is a dancer. She started dancing in Haiti when she was 7 years old but stopped once COVID began. She has danced for four years total. Kertchie said dancing has taught her to be confident in herself and to always be who she is. She has learned to not let anyone stop her from doing what she likes and what she wants to do.
In her free time, Kertchie enjoys drawing and shopping. She likes to shop at Forever 21 and draw images on nature and people.
When she is older, Kertchie wants to become a doctor because she enjoys helping people — this has been her dream job since she was 7 years old.
Kertchie enjoys reading books such as “Divergent” because it helps her with her spelling and helps her understand the English language better.
Alongside reading and dancing, Kertchie enjoys writing songs because when she writes, she puts her heart into it and creates meaningful lyrics. She also likes singing because when she sings, it becomes emotional and it is fun to her.
“Trying out new things makes me happy because it helps me understand that there are so many good things in life that we can do that we never would’ve even thought about,” she said. “It’s fun to experience the different parts of the world.”
When asked what she would like to say to her teachers, Kertchie said, “Thank you so much for helping me learn a ton of different things that will be beneficial to my future. I will miss you guys so much whenever I move or leave Buford. You guys will always have a special place in my heart.”
Without a doubt, Kertchie is a Buford Wolf. She is hardworking, intelligent and determined to succeed beyond her expectations. Kertchie will surely go on to accomplish greatness as she grows older in age, and as her community, we will proudly cheer her on along the way. Congratulations, Kertchie!
The Buford City Schools Student of the Week spotlight is made possible by the generosity of the City of Buford.