December 2023 Employee and Students of the Month

On December 12, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the December 2023 Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting. Congratulations to all of this month’s honorees! 

Employee of the Month

Jackie Bergeron, 4th grade teacher at South Ridge Elementary School

Jackie Bergeron is an exceptional teacher, but her passion for teaching goes above and beyond. She cares deeply for each and every one of her students, is solution-focused, and is always looking to find ways to help her students achieve success. Jackie collaborated with other district colleagues to write and receive a Clime Time grant to create an outdoor learning space and nature trail for our school. Along with the trail, she has included staff and the community to help create an area that will educate all the kids at our school. Jackie gave up much of her summer, spending hot days in the sun to create an amazing space for our community. The impact of this trail is immeasurable. She has researched and incorporated native plants to ensure that the trail is educational and sustainable for our environment. Watching the South Ridge nature trail come to life under the direction of Jackie is watching a labor of love. She cares deeply about her students and the care is evident in the time and energy she has devoted to creating an outdoor environment that is accessible, beautiful, and educational. South Ridge is a better place because of all of her dedication and hard work.

Millie Silliman, Pre-K at the Early Learning Center

In the bustling world of preschool, Millie Silliman’s positivity and enthusiasm stands out. This bright and inquisitive learner not only approaches each day with an infectious smile but also radiates a love for discovery and play. Her genuine joy in exploring the wonders of the world around her creates a vibrant atmosphere in the classroom, uplifting both peers and educators alike. Her ability to express kindness towards peers and adults alike makes her a cherished presence in the preschool community, leaving a lasting impression with her boundless energy, warmth, and eagerness to embrace each day's adventures. Millie is a perfect example of Ridgefield resilience; her kind heart and eagerness to help her classmates adjust to new surroundings is amazing to witness. She displays empathy so sincerely and she is able to easily notice when friends need a little bit of extra support. She displays responsibility throughout the day by following the classroom rules and routine schedule. Millie's positive and inquisitive character has allowed her to show her friends how to adapt and thrive at school. Millie welcomes all new students with kindness. She takes responsibility in the classroom to ensure everyone has been included. She continues to grow academically and socially. Millie has shown her peers how to be kind. She's positive and isn't afraid to lend a helping hand when a teacher or student needs it. Her excitement and energy to learn is so refreshing. She is empathetic and kind when classmates are sad, angry, hurt or upset. Her teacher's have said, "Her bright smile and excitement about learning is contagious. Other peers have started to model Millie's behavior and it truly melts my heart to have her a part of our class. We are so happy she is at the ELC. I am certain she will change the world." 

Ivan Verovkin, 3rd grade at South Ridge Elementary School

Ivan is a hard-working and kind student. He always asks questions to clarify his understanding of new things that he is learning. He is also a great helper to other students who are new to South Ridge, helping them to feel comfortable and to learn what our class is like. He is an incredible art student who is a creative, artistic, out-of-the box thinker. He strives to add his own twist to art and to improve his work each day. Ivan exemplifies all it means to be a South Ridge Roadrunner and we are so proud of him!

Jasper Cole, 1
st grade at Union Ridge Elementary School

Jasper Cole is being recognized due to significant growth this year that has impressed his entire support team at school. Jasper is an extremely kind and friendly person who can be counted on to follow expectations and overcome challenges inside and outside of the classroom. He is a great role model for his classmates and always has a positive attitude, both during academic and social aspects of his school day. Jasper is a wonderful student and brightens up any room he is in. Jasper's teacher shares, "It is a joy to be Jasper's teacher and I am extremely proud and inspired by his determination every day!" 

Lyon Geissal, 6
th grade at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School

Lyon Geissal can be found on the blacktop bright and early every morning setting out our playground equipment for the day and we so appreciate his help. Lyon wants students to feel included and welcomed at Sunset Ridge and he is a tremendously supportive peer. This is especially true of students who are new to our school and country. He's a solid leader in the classroom and is eager to be an inclusive and welcoming friend. His compassion and empathy are noticed frequently by the staff at Sunset Ridge. If Lyon has a peer with limited English to communicate with, that does not stop him from being a friendly advocate and supportive guide working to create a safe place. It's heartwarming to watch students helping students and knowing that they're looking out for each other. Our school and community are stronger because of humans like Lyon who care deeply and take action to be a sincere support. Thank you, Lyon, for being a great example of what it means to be a Coyote at Sunset Ridge!

Luisa Sunia, 8
th grade at View Ridge Middle School

When you meet Isa the first time, you immediately notice her warm smile and positive demeanor. She is kind, respectful, and upbeat with everyone! All of her teachers agree that she is a shining example of dedication, hard work, and active participation in class. 

Mr. Broeckel, her history teacher, said, “Isa takes her schoolwork seriously and gives her best effort in all aspects of her education. Her attitude and resilience stand out. She is such a wonderful person, we know she has a bright future in front of her.” Mr. DeShazer, Isa’s PE teacher shared “Isa is such a great all-around student. She is very kind and encouraging to all of her peers and brightens people’s day with her smile. In addition, she works hard, pays attention, makes sure she is on task, and is very responsible.” 

Her STEM teacher, Mr. Hagensen said, “Isa has an unwavering commitment to her studies, she has consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership skills within our classroom. Her efforts go above and beyond, as she not only excels in her coursework but also actively engages in collaborative projects and encourages her peers to strive for excellence. Possessing a growth mindset, she approaches challenges with enthusiasm and views them as opportunities for learning and improvement. As a true STEM thinker, Isa consistently demonstrates a deep understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics concepts, contributing significantly to the overall academic environment.” 

Isa is always ready to encourage her peers and she is also a SUDOKU Master! We are so fortunate to have Isa at View Ridge. She has enriched all who know her, and most of all she exemplifies the Heron characteristics: Responsible, Respectful and Resilient. Congratulations, Isa! We couldn’t ask for a more wonderful Heron to be December Student of the Month.

Natalie Braunstein, 12th grade at Ridgefield High School

If you attend any Ridgefield High School event, chances are high that you’ll see Natalie in attendance. Known by her fellow students and RHS staff as a dependable leader who is always willing to support and encourage others, Natalie couldn’t be a more deserving recipient of Ridgefield High School’s Student of the Month honor for December. As a daughter of a nurse and a teacher, Natalie was raised to respect and appreciate those around her, all while giving a helping hand when needed. As one staff member said, “Natalie's positive demeanor, willingness to help others, patience with struggling underclassmen, and ability to put her full effort and talent into everything she does make her the perfect student of the month.”  Not only does Natalie excel in the classroom, where she is currently taking three AP classes, but she is also a crucial member of the girls Bowling team. As Coach Black stated, “Natalie is the foundation of our team. She is supportive of her teammates and brings out the best in them.”  When Natalie is not bowling, she loves hiking and camping, in addition to crocheting. Upon graduation in June, Natalie will attend Eastern Washington University (where seven other family members are graduates!) to study education. It’s clear that her love of reading, writing, and children will guide Natalie’s future path, where she hopes to pursue a career as an elementary librarian, high school English teacher, or college professor of creative writing. No matter what she chooses, Natalie is sure to make an impact.

Robert Fulfer, 12th grade at Wisdom Ridge Academy

Robert’s teacher and advisor, Mrs. Colantino says Robert “embodies integrity and character in every facet of his academic journey. He diligently approaches each task, consistently delivering his best efforts across all his classes. His admirable grade point average is a testament to his diligence and relentless pursuit of knowledge. As an English teacher, reading Robert's essays has been a genuine delight! His writing reflects academic prowess and an innate ability to articulate thoughts with clarity and depth. Each piece is a testament to his intellectual curiosity and demonstrates a level of insight that is beyond his years.” Robert chose Wisdom Ridge because he likes working at his own pace to complete his work.  Robert works hard to stay on pace and hopes to go into the computer field in either IT or cyber security after he graduates in June. Robert is one of many students at WRA who have shown the power of online learning, and we are proud to have him represent those many students as the December Student of the Month.