501 LIFE Visionaries: Caleb Hunt the Hero

By Stefanie Brazile

In 14 years, a Conway Junior High School (CJHS) student has emerged as a leader and a caring young man. He has been declared a hero by a mayor and been voted student council president at two schools.

Caleb Hunt is an eighth-grade starter on the football team who also plays the saxophone in band and earned a chair in the All Region, First Band last year. This is his first year at CJHS and he was voted Student Council President, an office he also held last year at Bob Courtway Middle School (BCMS).

“I think I might run for a student council office from this year on,” Hunt said. “When I started school this year, it felt cold and people weren’t that nice. I want to make sure people feel how I wanted to feel. I felt like I could kick-start the school spirit environment which should be friendly and supportive. I want people to feel comfortable with who they are or what they like to do.”

With deep conviction, he says he wants to offer representation of all students. “I think a lot of students from different backgrounds, or home lives, are afraid to do things. I want to encourage others to take more risks and put themselves out there.”

Hunt is also a scholar who earned Spelling Bee Champion the past two years at BCMS. He was the Faulkner County Spelling Bee runner-up in 2019-20 and was also named Middle School Student of the Year at BCMS. He is a Duke Tip recognized student who scored a 23 on the portions of the ACT offered at the middle school level.

Beyond his peers, Hunt cares about his neighbors and demonstrated that  at an early age. One morning when he was eight, he heard someone groaning. His bedroom was at the front of the house so he looked out and saw an elderly neighbor lying in her garage. 

“Ms. Watson fell while taking her trash out,” he said. “I set-off our alarm when I ran out to help her.”

Sue Watson had broken her hip, was in pain and needed help. An ambulance was called and she was taken to the hospital.

My dad said, “`You’re a hero!’ But I felt like I was just helping someone who needed it.”  

That day at lunch, news reporters came to his school for interviews. Later, then Mayor Tab Townsell proclaimed Sept. 22 as Caleb Hunt Day. The family stays in touch with Ms. Watson.

His father, Greg, was the owner of Sandstone Real Estate Group until he passed away from colon cancer in 2015. “That really helped me understand even more the value of having an impact and building relationships with people while you can,” Hunt said.

The  young man attends Menifee Church of Christ with his mother and sister, Hannah. They have a dog named Belle who is a lab mix. He loves the small town feel in Conway and looks forward to life becoming “normal” again.

“I love going to the movies,” he said. “I love shopping, when I have money. I really like to go to the fair and Toad Suck Daze. I’ve met some really good people at my school and plan on going with them to football and all of those things when we can.”