On Nov.17, eight students were recognized by Juneau-Douglas High School staff for their contributions to improving the school. The celebration included congratulatory words by new principal Ryan Alsup, with assistant principal Paula Casperson presenting each student with a pin and a legislative citation recognizing his or her special accomplishment. Students, parents and staff enjoyed lunch prepared by the JDHS Parent Group following the ceremony.
To be nominated for an award, students can perform a random act of kindness toward another student, overcome personal challenges, reach an academic goal, jettison poor habits and embrace positive ones, contribute in some way to making a classroom or project better or any number of other significant things. All students recognized throughout the year will be honored again in the spring at the University of Alaska Southeast, where one senior will be selected to receive a scholarship to UAS.
Math teacher Andrea Stasyszen nominated Vince Algabre, a ninth-grader. Of Algabre, Stasyszen said, "Vince has come in early three days a week in a concerted effort to raise his math grade. I appreciate his dedication and he is now succeeding in class."
Monica Ashenfelter, an eleventh-grader, was nominated by Gaye Willis in the attendance office. Willis said, "Monica Ashenfelter is my aide in the attendance office during first period, the busiest time of the day. She has assisted in writing passes for the late students, helping to get letters mailed, making deliveries and other tasks as assigned. It is a high compliment to be approved to work in the attendance office due to the confidential nature of the work. She is trustworthy, cheerful and capable. I appreciate all she does to make the day go more smoothly and enjoy working with her. Thank you, Monica!"
Art Department teacher Heather Ridgway nominated Jean Cumlat, an eleventh-grader. Ridgeway wrote, "In anticipation of planned absences, Jean checks in with me frequently regarding upcoming expectations. She doesn't interrupt class time to do this, but respectfully finds a moment between classes or at lunch. When she meets a challenge in ceramics, she attacks it voraciously. She came in and did her hardest, working the wheel until she knew she mastered centering and then trimming. Bravo!"
Ridgeway also nominated Tianna-Jae Garcia, a tenth-grader, for her success in Digital Arts. Ridgeway said, "Tianna-Jae listens carefully to be sure she knows what points of an assignment will get her credit. She checks the forms on the digital arts public server file to confirm she finally understands an assignment. She uses her peers as a resource and without getting distracted from class objectives. Best of all, her fun-loving spirit shines through all her work when she's done. She has a naturally upbeat rhythm that polishes her artwork and makes her fun to work with."
Karina Reyes, a teacher in the Early Scholars Department, nominated eleventh-grader Nicole George. Of George, Reyes said, "Nicole epitomizes drive, dedication and commitment. She studies hard and makes sure she is learning the material and at the same time, she also makes sure that her peers are right there with her. She tutors and mentors students who are at risk in my class and she does all this despite all the other demands on her time."
Ninth-grader Roxie Hildebrand was nominated by English teacher Kristy Germain. Germain wrote, "Roxie did a masterful job in writing a short story and then creating an iMovie of that story that was interesting, dramatic and engaging to the audience of her peers in Introduction to Literature. Her story was titled "Paige Never Came Home," and was about a sister who disappeared. She included vivid details and built suspense before arriving at poignant conclusion."
Germain also nominated ninth-grader Emily Keithahn. Of Keithahn, Germain said, "Emily wrote an interesting short story for Introduction to Literature that then became a wonderful iMovie. Her story was titled "This is not your Home." It was about a young girl who moved with her family into a house where the previous owner's daughter had disappeared. The main character discovered that she had the exact same birthday as the murdered girl. A dramatic mystery made up the plot of this story to a relief-filled conclusion."
Joel Perry, an eleventh-grader, was nominated by Kelly McCormick of the Physical Education Department. McCormick said "Joel Perry consistently works very hard in PE. He recently achieved the Presidential Physical Fitness Award for coring in the 90th percentile in five fitness areas. Joel is a great example to others."
Business Department teacher Cindy Pastorino nominated ninth-grader Jonah Taboada. Pastorino said, "Jonah is proving herself to be an outstanding student to our AVID class. She is a conscientious student who shows dedication to her education. Jonah comes to class prepared and ready to learn. She has great organization skills, as demonstrated by her planner and binder. She consistently produces quality work and demonstrates a strong work ethic. Jonah's English teacher appreciated the quality iMovie Jonah created from her short story. Her math teacher notes the leadership skills Jonah exhibits. Jonah is supportive of her peers and is definitely a positive role model. She is respected by students and staff alike. Keep up the great work Jonah!"