Mr. POE. Madam Speaker, 11-year-old Christopher Ryan Coomes, or Ryan, as he is more familiarly called, is an outstanding young man. A native of Texas, born in Houston and raised in the suburb of Spring, Texas, Ryan lives a normal, average American life with his father, Tim, mother, Brenda, big sister, Candance, and little brother, Chase.
Ryan is finishing the 5th Grade at Salyers Elementary in Spring, Texas; however, he is no ordinary 5th grader because Ryan has a gift for excelling in school. In December 2005, when Ryan was a 4th grader, he competed in the Salyers Elementary Spelling Bee. Spelling the word, ``walrus,'' Ryan was named the champion of the spelling competition. When he competed the following year, in 2006, Ryan beat out 30 other participants and would-be spelling bee champion hopefuls to win by spelling the word ``staccato''--which is a musical term, meaning to cut short or crisply. Ryan also competed in the Spring ISD District Spelling Bee competition in February of 2007.
Spelling is not the only thing Ryan excels in. Ryan is also an outstanding student, who has been and is on the honor roll at Salyers Elementary. His favorite subjects are history (which also happens to be mine), science, and math. While most kids scheme to get out of going to school in the morning, Ryan eagerly gets up and goes. Currently, he is trying to maintain a perfect attendance record for the 2006-2007 school year. Ryan has a love of reading and is very skilled at writing, having his work continually used by his teacher as an example. He participates in several extra-curricular activities, such as the Chess Club and the Safety Patrol.
Already at 11, Ryan has set goals for himself: He wants to make Eagle Scout--an honor only 5 percent of Boy Scouts ever achieve; he wants to attend college at either Texas A&M, Rice, or an Ivy League college (Yale); he wants to visit England and see Stonehenge.
Ryan has been a long time member of the Cub Scouts, which is a division of the Boy Scouts. The Cub Scouts were formed for boys in the first through fifth grades and was established to promote character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. Boys involved with Cub Scouts are required to go through 5 different award levels of the Cub Scouts before they are promoted to the highest award level, Arrow of Light.
To be awarded the Arrow of Light, the Cub Scout must demonstrate the specific skills and activities of each of the previous Cub Scout levels. The Cub Scout is also required to learn the Scout Promise and Scout Law. Finally, the Cub Scout is required to attend one Boy Scout Troop meeting and one Boy Scout Troop Activity. Ryan Coomes has met all of these requirements and on March 3, 2007, he was awarded the Arrow of Light for the Cub Scouts of America, Pack 355.
Madam Speaker, Ryan Coomes is a remarkable young man. An honor student, spelling bee champion, and Cub Scout recipient of the Arrow of Light award, Ryan is an example to his fellow students, his fellow citizens of Spring, and his fellow Texans. We need more young people like Ryan. I congratulate Ryan on being awarded the Arrow of Light for the Cub Scouts and I am proud to pay him this tribute today.
And that's just the way it is.