On April 18, seven students were recognized by Juneau-Douglas High School faculty and staff for their excellence.
Assistant Principal Paula Casperson introduced former Juneau legislator and local lawyer Bruce Weyrauch, who shared with students the meaning of the phrase “You have to compare,” to encourage them to follow their individual paths while recognizing differences and supporting each other along the way.
Casperson reminded students that a final celebration for all 2011-2012 nominees will take place at the University of Alaska Southeast campus in May and one student will receive a scholarship.
Casperson and Weyrach presented students a copy of the paperwork, a legislative citation and a special student recognition pin. The JDHS Parent Group provided lunch for the students, their families and the faculty and staff who nominated them.
Janette Gagnon, coach of the JDHS Track and Field Team, nominated seniors Ian Andrews and Jesse Miller.
“Ian Andrews and Jesse Miller are both Captains for the JDHS Track and Field Team. They are amazing student athletes, leading their classmates in GPA and maxing out the number of sports and activities that one person can possibly be a part of. Then they top this off by being superb teammates, especially to students on the team who have special needs. At practice, they watch out for all of their teammates and will forgo a harder workout to make sure their teammates make it back safely from a run. Ian and Jesse are my go-to guys when I need someone to house with a teammate who would otherwise stay at the hotel with his mother. When we travel and the team wants to hang out together, they regularly volunteer to watch out for their teammates, who would otherwise have to hang out with the adults. One of the parents who regularly travels with us has commented numerous times about how safe she feels knowing that her son is hanging out with Jesse and Ian. As a coach, Jesse and Ian make my job that much easier.” Gagnon wrote.
Gaye Willis of the attendance office nominated Junior Jestoni Feliciano.
“Jestoni Feliciano is my aide in the attendance office. Due to our flex schedule, one day each week he was my aide at the start of the day and one day directly after lunch, the busiest times in my office. He has been a great help in doing a variety of duties, including writing late passes for student and delivering messages for my office and for the Teen Health Center. Jestoni was drafted to be a runner to pull students during the English language testing period. The testers expressed appreciation for his help. I was especially impressed that he would pull a student and then hurry back to my office to work on filing before he needed to pull another student. This was a week when two of my aides were traveling and the filing had really stacked up. I really appreciate how he hustled to be of help to the tester and still help me out as well. I am impressed that Jestoni is always reading or doing homework on his down time. He is a diligent and ambitious student.” Willis wrote.
Japanese teacher Cheri Carson nominated sophomore Gina Kim.
“Gina is in her second year of Japanese. She is a very talented, hard-working student with a great personality. One thing that I’ve noticed about Gina is that she is aware of the students around her, especially those that might need help with a concept or an assignment. She has a natural gift for teaching and guides the students, patiently explaining things rather than just giving out answers. The teaching profession would be lucky to have her should she decide to become a teacher in the future. Omedeto gozaimasu Saya-san.”
Anita Evans, a para-educator with the Low-Incidence program, nominated freshman Simeon Mazon.
“Simeon is a kind friend to many at JDHS. Most mornings Simeon waits outside to push a friend’s wheelchair into the school. He also opens doors for her, to accommodate her wheelchair. Simeon is also doing a fantastic job in swim class. He has graduated from the shallow pool to the deep end, and is making great strides as a lap swimmer. I am very impressed with Simeon’s efforts and his commitment toward improvement.”
Don Jackowick and Suzanne Ainsworth nominated Junior Trevor Smith.
“It is with great pleasure that we nominate Trevor Smith for the student recognition award. Since the beginning of second semester Trevor has been achieving academic success by increasing his punctuality and his attendance. Trevor has been more focused and on task than in previous semesters, he is putting forth good academic effort. During lunch and within the classroom Trevor has been identified as a pleasantly polite student.”
Language Arts teacher Kristy Germain and Officers VanSickle and Hieb, representing the DARE Program, jointly nominated junior Thelea Savlick.
“Thelea is being nominated in recognition of her work as the Alaska Representative to the DARE American Youth Advisory Board. The DARE program, Drug Abuse Resistance Education, gives kids the life skills they need to avoid involvement with drugs, gangs and violence. In this position as Youth Advisory Board member, Thelea traveled to the DARE International training conference in July 2011 in Nashville, Tenn. and the Youth Advisory Board Training Program in November 2011. Thelea also had the opportunity to speak at the recent Juneau DARE Commencement, which was held at Centennial Hall on March 27. Thelea addressed Juneau’s fifth graders who were graduating from the DARE program. She did a wonderful job; we are so proud of her work with this organization and we offer all of our encouragement and support as she continues to work with DARE.”