David Jajliardo, an eighth grader from Mount Vernon, has been named Maine Connections Academy‘s January STAR Student, according to a news release from the South Portland academy, the state’s first virtual public charter school.

As part of a military family that moved often, Jajliardo and his two older siblings were always home-schooled. Shortly after his father retired from the Air Force and the family moved to Maine, Jajliardo’s oldest sister enrolled with the academy. After seeing her flourish in the school’s online-based environment, Jajliardo decided to enroll as a seventh grader and has been with MCA ever since.

According to the release, his academics have improved dramatically in the last year, which he credits to his organizational skills and detailed note-taking.

His favorite class is history, and he is fascinated by historical documentaries. This interest led him to his current hobby of collecting antiques. Other hobbies include working on cars, landscaping, construction and learning survival skills in Maine’s woods. He plans to travel to Romania with a missionary team to help construct a church.

His career considerations currently include working with wildlife as a game warden, landscaping or construction.