Fatima Sidibe struggled with math. That was years past.
Now the seventh grader at Swampscott Middle School says math is her number one subject.
Focus, hard work and learning not to get down on herself got her to the point where she likes math class.
Working hard also led to Fatima and fellow seventh grader Michael McLaughlin being named Students of the Month for November.
The middle school's monthly award recognizes effort and good judgement — doing the right thing and, thereby, setting a good example.
Teachers nominated the students for the award. Last month, Principal Robert Murphy and Assistant Principal Jason Calichman presented them engraved plaques.
Michael, who has an older brother and sister, attended Clarke Elementary School in Swampscott.
He likes math and science.
Recently he enjoyed learning about buoyancy and force.
The lessons came in a hands-on experiment where the students figured out how to raise a sunken object.
Michael wants to go to college.
Fatima also wants to go to college. She is interested in meteorology and law.
She is a METCO student from Dorchester and has been going to Swampscott schools since third grade.
She has an older and younger brother and a younger sister.
The effort award plaques are donated each month by Crown Trophy in Peabody.