At 11 years old, Callie Ward is already planning her future.
"I want to be a pediatrician," she said. "I want to be a doctor and I really like little kids."
But, just in case, she has a back-up plan -- to become a writer just like J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.
Although she admits her plans may change, she knows what it will take achieve her goals.
"If you get good grades in high school, you can get accepted into a good college and get a good job," she explained.
The Carson Middle School sixth-grader is off to a good start. She received the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award through the National Association for Gifted Children this year.
A $500 U.S. Savings Bond is awarded to one student in each state, along with a Certificate of Excellence. Students selected for the award are between third and sixth grades and have distinguished themselves in academic achievement, leadership, or the visual or performing arts.
Callie was nominated for the award by three of her teachers Marcia Richey, Jane Johnson and Kathy Rothchild.
"I couldn't believe it," Callie said. "I've never heard of the award and I was really surprised my teachers nominated me."
Her mother, Letty Ward, was also surprised when she heard Callie had been selected because the competition was so stiff. However, she was not surprised when Callie tested into the gifted and talented program as a third-grader.
"All three of my kids really love learning," she said. "I knew they were bright kids. They enjoy school and that's important."
As a gifted student, Callie attends regular classes but is clustered with other gifted students, who are challenged more.
"It's just a lot of fun," she said. "I think you learn a lot more."
She also has interests outside of school. She plays the flute and has taken tap dancing and ballet lessons since she was 4.
School board members and district officials will recognize Callie for her award at Tuesday's meeting.
The award program was established through funds provided by Maggie and Reg Green to honor the memory of their 7-year-old son, Nicholas, who was killed by highway robbers while vacationing in Italy in 1994. The Greens felt it was important to recognize the gifts and talents in children who are now at the age Nicholas was when he died.
IF YOU GO
What: Carson City School Board meeting
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Carson City Community Center
For information about the Nicholas Green award visit: www.nicholasgreen.org.