On Wednesday, ten students were recognized by school staff for their contributions to improving Juneau-Douglas High School, and an additional student received an local award offered annually to a student who inspires others.
Assistant Principal Paula Casperson introduced Juneau Lions Club members Joyce Kitka and Ted Burke, who each spoke briefly about how the Lions Club assists those in need through volunteering and contributing to our community. Kitka introduced Rev. Walter Soboloff, who, with the help of the Lions Club, honored a special high school student who was recognized by school staff as someone who goes the extra mile to improve the school climate. This year, JDHS junior Nicole George received Dr. Walter Soboleff Award for her continued contributions and great attitude.
With Principal Ryan Alsup reading what teachers said in their nominations, Casperson presented 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, student 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.
In December, the following students were nominated for recognition:
Senior Kimberly Cabrigas was nominated by Gaye Willis in the Attendance Office. Willis said, "Kimberly is my aide in the attendance office during third hour. She assists in writing passes, making deliveries, filing and other tasks. She has a compassionate spirit and is kind and cheerful. She always tries to be helpful and useful. It is a high compliment to be approved to work in the attendance office due to the confidential nature of the job. I appreciate that I can trust her. I'm grateful for her assistance."
Cindy Pastorino and Jeremy Gleason, teachers in the Business Department, nominated freshman Dannielle Erickson. Of Erickson, Pastorino said, "Dannielle is proving herself to be an outstanding student in our Freshmen Seminar class. She comes to class focused, prepared, and ready to learn. Dannielle readily applies herself in class. She quietly concentrates on assignments, pays attention to details, and consistently produces quality work. She proves to work well independently or as part of a team. Dannielle is respectful to all and displays excellent business etiquette. She is a good listener, proficient problem solver, and is a valued member of our class. Her smile and positive attitude always brighten our room! Keep up the great work Dannielle! Mr. Gleason and I are proud of you!"
Pastorino and Gleason also nominated senior Bailey McWhorter. They said, "Bailey is a student with focus, initiative, and a strong work ethic. She demonstrates these valued qualities daily in our Internet/Web Page Design class. Bailey is a conscientious student who shows commitment to her education. She is a reliable, dependable young woman who maintains perfect attendance and punctuality. She is a quick learner, persistent problem solver, and show self-direction by working well independently. She is also cooperative and helpful to her peers. She always has a positive attitude and displays excellent business etiquette. Bailey recently completed a wonderful PowerPoint presentation on Internet Safety. The presentation had been on display in JDHS Commons and most recently citywide on television Channel 6."
Art Department teacher Heather Ridgway nominated Ruby Nashoanak, a freshman. In her nomination, Ridgeway wrote, "Ruby doesn't get flustered when multiple expectations are pressing. She started a beautiful carved piece, of her own inspiration, that required calm, quiet, detail-oriented focus. As others were fluttering about, sometimes slapping projects together just to check them off the list, Ruby was carefully forming and finishing her wonderfully delicate bird skull. She did stop to connect with me to be sure she wasn't completely off task, then choose to prioritize her work by her own passions and to good result. She has a piece to be very proud of and it met several semester expectations."
Ridgeway also nominated junior Bobby Simpson. Ridgeway said, "Bobby impressed me, when he first asked to join my class late, with his easy going but respectful approach. Recently, I asked him to help with the sloppy job of slaking our recycled clay. He hesitated and moved with reluctance. I could tell he thought my request was unfair, but he began the task anyway. What really impressed me was how he expressed his feelings in the end: " Mrs. Ridgway, I don't really feel like doing this, I've already done it before." I appreciated that he was standing up for himself while still being respectful of my class objectives; the way he expressed himself gave another student the opportunity to step forward and say " I haven't done it yet" without an unnecessary power struggle of student vs. teacher. It was also brought to me to recall he had done a fine job at this task previously so I could redeem myself with this concession and fairness was restored."
Jesse Quick, freshman, was nominated by teacher Gene Randall. In his nomination, Randall wrote, "Jesse Quick is one of the most on-the-ball students I've ever worked with. I really appreciate the way he tackles assignments immediately and is usually the first one done. Jesse is always friendly and smiling with his schoolmates and teachers, too. Because a positive attitude is so important, I predict Jesse will have a very successful experience at JDHS, and beyond."
Kymberlee Kelly, a freshman, was nominated by Kelly McCormick of the Physical Education Department. McCormick said of Kelly, "Kymberlee sets a great example in PE. Not only does she fully participate each day but she is the only JDHS female to achieve the presidential physical fitness award. Congratulations, Kymberlee!"
Senior Bethany Munoz was nominated by librarian Barb Kreher. Kreher wrote, "It is my pleasure to recommend Bethany Munoz to be recognized for her outstanding job as our first semester library intern. Bethany's enthusiasm and willingness to complete any library task helps support our JDHS library program. With close attention to detail, Bethany processes all of our magazines, getting them ready for library patrons to read or borrow from the library. She also has quickly and successfully mastered the steps to create many READ posters for our JDHS students and staff using Photoshop software. I would like Bethany to know that her work in the library is very helpful and her positive attitude has made it a delight to have her working with Mrs. Perkins and me in the library."
Metals teacher Andy Bullick nominated sophomore Brian Peterson. Of Peterson, Bullick said, "Brian is a great person and metals student. He does not say a whole bunch, but his actions speak volumes. He is helpful, kind, and knowledgeable when it comes to metals. In addition, he works with his dad on construction projects on weekends. Brain has a very bright future in the construction and or fabrication industry."
Junior Chariece Sarabia was nominated by Lunch Supervision staff member Suzanne Ainsworth. Ainsworth said, "I nominated Chariece because of her positive attitude in school. Chariece is working hard & showing a lot of initiative in her studies. I see this before school at breakfast, and her teachers have acknowledged this optimism and this dedication as well."
World Languages teacher Dixie Weiss nominated Kaia Pruett, a sophomore. In her nomination, Weiss said, "Kaia always seeks to complete her Spanish class assignments early and asks to work ahead. She is a congenial partner at her group table and is always willing to help other students with peer review of their work. It is a privilege to recognize a 4.0 Honor Student."