School: Butler High School, Matthews.
Class rank: No. 1 of 523.
College: UNC Chapel Hill.
Parents: Susan and Michael Pearce.
Tanner's words: In kindergarten a teacher gave Tanner a book. He rushed home and tearfully told his mother "I need to learn to read tonight." He didn't learn that night, but his mother quickly taught him how. He credits his mother with also teaching him his work ethic.
Superlative: Speaks French and plans to double major in biology and physics.
Tanner Fadero has a limitless passion for learning that started when he was a child.
"From day one I could never feed him enough knowledge," said Susan Pearce, Tanner's mother. "His only downfall is that he can never get enough knowledge."
The David W. Butler High School graduate plans to attend UNC Chapel Hill in the fall, where he will double major in biology and physics and minor in French.
"Tanner, for me, exhibits academic excellence; he is a self-motivator, and we feel that he just has such a drive and a willpower to succeed in every endeavor," said Cynthia Shepard, Tanner's guidance counselor.
Tanner said he always has been interested in medicine and plans to become a neurologist or anesthesiologist.
The senior would like to minor in French because he has spent the past six years becoming proficient in the language and does not want to give it up.
"I'm really anxious to get started in undergrad research and labs and to work with the professors," Tanner said.
While in high school, Tanner was an active member of the French club, Latin club, swim team, French Honor Society, National Honor Society and Key Club and participated in the Science Olympiad. Shepard said her advice to Tanner about his next step is to strive to always do his best. "There's a quote that I have in my office that says, 'Dream as if you will live forever, and live as if you only have today,'" Shepard said. "I just want him to stretch as far as he can, because he has the potential to do it."
Throughout his life, Tanner said, his biggest inspiration has been his mother.
"It was really her, she is an educator," Tanner said. "She is the one that has really inspired me to be as self-driven as I am."
As for advice about the future for her son, Pearce said, "I hope he doesn't take life too seriously and takes time to enjoy the long educational journey he has ahead of him. I hope he never stops learning and takes time to stop and enjoy life."