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October 2020 Employee and Students of the Month
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

On October 13, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the October Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.  

Employee of the Month

Roz Andersen is an exceptional employee and an asset to the entire Ridgefield High School organization.  She is detail-oriented and always makes sure the job is done right. She also has an infectious sense of humor.  For the past few years, Roz was RHS’ Attendance Secretary.  She has refined that position, making the changes necessary to better track student attendance.  

When the opportunity to apply for the Registrar position became available, Roz jumped at the chance.  She is always eager to learn and willing to go the extra 10 miles (she is a runner, after all).  Roz has a great way with parents, the community, students and staff and is one of the reasons RHS is such a great place.  There is no doubt that Roz Andersen is deserving of the honor of Employee of the Month for October.

Students of the Month

Haley Heath was selected as October’s Student of the Month for the Early Learning Center.  Haley has shown a high level of resiliency coming back to school.  Within the first couple of days, she got acclimated to the familiar routines, picking up right where she left off last spring.  With all the changes, she has risen above expectations.  She is the first to support and empathize with her peers and check on them.  Right away, she remembers that our classrooms are safe and encouraging spaces where we treat one another with kindness.  When she notices that friends are missing their family, she runs over to our Family board to grab their family photo and brings it to them.  Haley also will gently remind her friends to wear their masks.  She recently turned four, and her leadership is already shining bright.  We’re so proud of our youngest future Spudders!  Haley is our Early Learning Center Student of the Month for October!

Kenslee Bushnell, a second grader, was selected at South Ridge Elementary.  Kenslee has taken on virtual learning with such gusto.  She is excited and ready to learn each and every morning.  She’s an active participant, constantly raising her hand to answer questions and ask strong critical thinking questions.  We love her determination to conquer distance learning.  She has even started asking for additional work to practice with during independent learning time!  This continues to prove that Kenslee is an amazing student who will challenge herself even after the school day ends.  Despite any technical challenges and the start to a school year unlike any other, Kenslee has risen to the occasion beautifully.  We are so proud to know her, and we can’t wait to see her hard work continue to pay off throughout the school year.

Sloan McTighe, a first grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  Sloan meets her class every day with a smile and a good morning to her friends.  She brings positive energy that sets a wonderful tone and example for her peers and teacher.  Sloan looks at everything with a sunny disposition and seeks out the best in people and situations.  Sloan has taken distance learning in stride.  She faces the challenges of learning at the door with the same cheerful disposition with which she greets her classmates.  Whether it is in-person or on-line, Sloan is determined to learn and chooses an attitude that will no doubt help her to be successful.  Way to go, Sloan!

Ella Burke, a sixth grader, was selected at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  Ella has shown great responsibility and resilience by being positive, staying engaged during online lessons, participating and working well with her peers, completing assignments on time and putting forth effort in the quality of her work.  She has also shown incredible character.  With everything that is happening right now, she has been doing her part in giving back to the community by helping families and horses displaced by the recent nearby wildfires.  She is kind, generous and humble in her desire to reach out and help others.  For these amazing qualities, Ella Burke deserves the honor of October Student of the Month at Sunset Ridge Intermediate.

Dennis Antonov, a seventh grader, was chosen at View Ridge Middle School.  Dennis communicates respectfully with teachers and takes responsibility for his learning and classroom tasks, finding ways to complete them even when faced with technical difficulties.  He works hard in student support time as well as in live class Zooms.  Dennis has turned in all of his work, showing good effort and detail.  He shows up for all of his classes on time and is a good listener.  Dennis works hard.  When he doesn’t understand something, he continues to be resilient and persistent, asking good questions to find the answer.  He is very responsible and makes sure he has everything he needs for class.  Dennis has been a respectful and hardworking student since Day 1 of distance learning.  When working with other students in small groups, he doesn’t shy away from including others.  He is thorough in his work and helpful during Zoom class.  We enjoy seeing his smiling face on Zoom.

It is always difficult paring down the number or amazing students we have at Ridgefield High School to select just one Student of the Month.  Even in this remote learning environment, students still step up to the plate demonstrating the 3R’s of Respect, Responsibility and Resilience to make the best of the situations they face.  Senior Lydia Jackson is one such student.  Lydia is described by her teachers as a “student who just grinds through her work” and a student who “literally defines the 3R’s.”  “She is an extremely hard worker and has faced many challenges.  She is not a straight-A student but always gives it 110%.  She does not let anything get her down and will keep pushing through no matter what.  She self-advocates, tries her best, and is always respectful and kind to teachers and other students.”  After high school, Lydia plans to become a flight attendant and wants to open a photography studio to pursue her passion in photography.  Ridgefield High School is proud to select Lydia Jackson as October Student of the Month.

Special thanks to the local office of James Schmeling at Allstate Insurance Company, the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation and Ridgefield Boosters for sponsoring the district’s recognition program this school year.