On Oct. 20, eight students were recognized by school staff for their contributions to improving Juneau-Douglas High School. The celebration included inspirational words by Wade Bryson, the owner of Juneau's three local Subway restaurants and a member of the Juneau Rotary Club, followed by Assistant Principal Paula Casperson, who presented the students with a pin and a legislative citation recognizing their accomplishments.
The JDHS Student Recognition Program was initiated many years ago by the JDHS high school parent support group, and for the past 5 years Juneau's Rotary clubs have provided support to help sustain the program. JDHS students are "recognized" by individual faculty or staff who have observed a student do anything from perform a random act of kindness toward another student, overcome personal challenges, jettison poor habits and embrace positive ones, or contribute in some way to making a classroom or project better. Though the number of students recognized in any give month varies, it is the JDHS faculty and staff's opportunity to reward and publicly acknowledge what being a good community and world citizen is all about. The Juneau legislative delegation also participates by providing a letter officially recognizing and congratulating each individual student.
This month's award winners include Lolita Church, Richielle Corpuz, Jestoni Feliciano, Kyle Kaplor, Stephen Mell, Riley Norheim, Kaitlin Rush and Joni Skrzynski.
Lolita Church, a tenth-grader, was nominated by teachers Tom Thompson and Bonnie Lawrence of the CHOICE program.
"Lolita has shown great motivation and dedication to doing great work this year," the teachers said. "Her attitude in class has been great and we enjoy her each day. She is always prepared, always on task and always is proactive about getting a good education."
Gaye Willis of the Attendance Office nominated Richielle Corpuz, an eleventh-grader, for her work as an attendance aide.
"Richielle is my aide at the attendance office during sixth period," Willis said. "She is a diligent worker who helps write passes, file excuses, make deliveries and do other tasks as needed. Richielle gets the office ready for the next day. She preps the logs and sets up the new schedule. This has been such a great help. She is polite and cheerful to work with. It is a high compliment to be approved to work in the attendance office due to the confidential nature of the work. Only students who are deemed trustworthy are allowed. I'm grateful for all Richielle does to make the office run smooth."
Jestoni Feliciano, a tenth-grader, was nominated by art teacher Heather Ridgway.
"Jestoni has been recognized as a fine artist since he was very young," Ridgway said. "He's expressed he's more comfortable drawing then working in clay. These things could work against him if perfectionist qualities made him afraid to experiment and try new things. But Jestoni is proving himself to be very patient and courageous. When he realized he might be challenged by the potter's wheel, he came in at lunch time and after school so he might be able to approach it on his own time. In class, he sees his experimental projects all the way through, to finished completion even if it's not working out quite to his standards. His perseverance is paying off! And his attitude is a positive influence on his studio peers."
Teacher Barb Bonner of the CHOICE program nominated Kyle Kaplor, an eleventh-grader.
"In his third year in CHOICE, Kyle Kaplor has become a very valued member of the junior class," Bonner said. "He pays attention, thinks, participates and completes the work. These attributes, combined with his perfect attendance, make him a role model in the junior class."
Stephen Mell, a ninth-grader, was nominated by MAT student teacher Matt Greely from the Physical Education department. "Stephen has demonstrated excellent participation and a strong work ethic through the semester in our P.E class," Greely said in the nomination. "Stephen has been cooperative in all activities and his hard work has rubbed off on others. He also brings a positive attitude. Stephen has been a pleasure to have in class."
The Smaller Learning Community 1 (SLC1) teachers nominated two students. The first is Riley Norheim, a ninth-grader. Of Riley, the teachers said, "She is proving herself to be a wonderful student in our freshmen Smaller Learning Community. She is a conscientious student and cares about her education. Riley comes to class prepared and ready to learn. She has great organization skill as demonstrated by her binder in her AVID class. She completed an outstanding plant book for her biology class. Her short story for English was a quality piece of writing. Riley comes to class with a positive attitude and displays a valued work ethic. She is a positive role model for her peers. Keep up the great work, Riley!"
SLC1 staff also nominated Kaitlin Rush, another ninth-grader. They said, "Kaitlin is proving herself to be a terrific student in our freshmen Smaller Learning Community. She comes to class with a positive attitude and displays a focused work ethic. Kaitlin works well independently or as part of a team. She is a positive role model for her peers. She demonstrates leadership potential in many of her classes. Kaitlin demonstrates dependability with her attendance and punctuality. She is a good listener, adept problem solver, asks relevant questions, and is a valued member of our class. Keep up the great work, Kaitlin!"
Teacher Dixie Weiss with the PLATO Lab nominated Joni Skrzynski, a twelfth-grader. "Joni is a role model in the PLATO Lab; she arrives on time (most days), and gets right to work in her course," Weiss said. "She takes excellent, legible notes which she generously shares with other students who lack note-taking skills. She remains on task even when breaks are announced and never logs off early. It is a pleasure to nominate her."