Jr. Ashlanders: Conlan Ellis

Conlan Ellis has a passion for the arts. Whether it's drawing, reading or writing his own book, the Helman Elementary School fourth-grader has managed to hone a handful of skills at a young age.

His mother, Michele Ellis, couldn't be prouder of her son's zest for books, in particular.

"He was reading in preschool, and we thought that was normal," she said. "He just sort of taught himself."

Conlan's literary tenacity isn't his only strength. In addition to his orange belt in Aikido and the numerous Boy Scout patches he has earned, he shows strong character and love for his family and friends.

His father, Todd Ellis, says he is proud of his son's ability to reach out to people.

"He chooses his friends based on none of the normal filters that people tend to use," Ellis said. "He befriends everyone."

"He's very conscientious and very kind and very present," Michele said.

"I'm not the present, I'm the future!" Conlan said.

Conlan recently sat down with the Daily Tidings to talk about a few of his favorite things.

DT: What are your favorite subjects in school?

CE: I like reading a lot. I just finished the "Harry Potters" series, but I read anything. Reading makes me calm; it's what I like to do most in my free time.

DT: So what is your all-time favorite book?

CE: "That's a hard question. Right now it's "The Lightning Thief" (series), the new one just came out."

DT: Tell me about someone at school who inspires you.

CE: I don't admire one person, but I admire people who are fun, but don't like to be bosses of the world if you know what I mean.

DT: What do you like to do outside of school?

CE: I like to make comics a lot. Most of them are superhero comics.

DT: Do you have trouble balancing school and your outside interests?

CE: A lot. At one time, I've been signed up for like three things, plus school, and it got so crazy that I had to narrow it all down to one thing: Aikido.

DT: What do you think you may want to do when you grow up?

CE: I'm either going to be an author or a magna anime artist. I think it would be really fun to create something and share it with everyone in the world.

DT: Talk about something you have done that makes you proud.

CE: One thing I'm proud of is that I've kept in Boy Scouts for a long time, even though sometimes I really want to quit.

DT: Talk about something that is challenging for you.

CE: My challenge is that I'm not challenged enough in school sometimes.

DT: Tell me about someone in your family who makes you proud.

CE: My dad makes me proud. When we started Boy Scouts, I wanted him to do it with me, and now he doesn't stop helping me and he doesn't give up. Having my dad there helps me not quit.

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