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Ridgefield School District Honors January Employee and Students of the Month
Tuesday, January 12, 2021

On January 12, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the January Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

Employee of the Month

Jody Harris is a committed, collegial and joyful preschool teacher and colleague at the Ridgefield Early Learning Center.  Her love and enjoyment of watching children learn, achieve and grow is only matched by her respect and kindness for families.  Children run to greet her every morning and beg to stay with her “just a little bit longer” at the end of each day.  She arrives early and puts in all the extra time and effort required of a preschool teacher.  She takes the initiative to offer her help readily to peers, families and children in ways that are thoughtful and meaningful.  To listen to her laughing, playing and learning alongside her Pre-K students is a highlight of each day.  Thank you, Jody, for being an exemplary staff member and leader for our Hash Browns.

Students of the Month

Magnolia Gomez was selected as January’s Student of the Month at the Early Learning Center.  She is a hard worker in everything we do in class—writing her name, drawing, doing crafts and learning our ASL alphabet.  She’s friendly to all, making new friends feel comfortable and always the first to help anyone with whatever they need.  She makes sure all toys are cleaned up whether she’s playing with them or not, and she is always happy and excited to be with her friends and take part in activities.  Magnolia remembers the names of all teachers and classmates and has a true connection to everyone she meets.  She’s very social and eager to learn all she can.  We appreciate her “can do” attitude in the Early Learning Center.  She’s our January Hash Brown of the Month.  Great job, Magnolia!  We are so proud of you.

Benjamin Elder, a first grader, was selected at South Ridge Elementary.  Benjamin zooms into our virtual classroom each day ready and eager to learn.  He exemplifies the 3 R’s of being Respectful, Responsible and Resilient.  Benjamin is kind, respectful and helpful to others.  He is happy and positive and encourages others during our shared learning times.  He is a focused and responsible learner in our Google Classroom in both live whole group and small group learning.  Always challenging himself to learn more, Benjamin is eager to take on any new challenge presented to him.  He perseveres and demonstrates resilience with his can-do attitude.  We are so proud of Benjamin and his success in our classroom!

Archer Chewning, a third grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  His name came to mind when his teacher thought about students who truly go above and beyond to help in their classroom community.  Archer participates in every Zoom activity and works hard to complete his assignments on time.  He can always be counted on to share his thoughts or tell a joke to liven up the class.  He finishes his schoolwork at the beginning of each day so that he can work on fun projects in class like reading aloud videos of books or creating how-to videos when he’s working on something cool.  Even when he’s done with his work, Archer willingly comes back on Zoom in the afternoon just so he can help classmates who are struggling.  He’s patient and kind and is great at guiding others even in distance learning.  It’s clear he has a heart for empowering others.  It is an honor to watch him continue to grow as a hardworking, compassionate, creative student online with the hope of one day seeing him shine in class in person.  From his teacher, Mrs. Capeloto:  “I’m proud of what you’ve accomplished so far, Archer, and look forward to learning so much more from you this year!”

Elijah Ayon, a fifth grader, was selected at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  Elijah has been extremely successful with remote learning.  He has been very responsible in attending every single one of our Zoom meetings.  He completes every assignment and puts great effort into all of his work.  Elijah is a group leader and pushes people to do their best.  His table group during the month of September won the table point challenge thanks in large part to his tremendous efforts and drive to win.  Despite the distance learning, it is very obvious that Elijah is a kind and respectful student.  We commend him for all of his hard work and resilience.

Hannah Edwards, a seventh grader was chosen at View Ridge Middle School.  Hannah is an excellent student.  She is always positive, tries her best and has an amazing attitude.  She gives her all 100% of the time and encourages others in class.  She has discovered and shared strategies that help her learn in the remote model and leverages them with great success.  Hannah comes to class with her camera and microphone on, ready to interact with her teacher and peers.  She is a leader in break-out rooms and asks good questions throughout lessons.  She puts a lot of effort into her assignments, and it shows.  Hannah is one of only a few students who reaches out to learn how life is going with everyone else in class.  She is a bright light during these darker times, and she is very appreciated.  She is truly deserving of the honor of Student of the Month. 

Students at Ridgefield High School continue to make an impression on the staff with their efforts in remote learning, working hard to make it the best possible experience they can.  Sophomore Bella Anderson-Colon is one such student who does so for others as well as for herself.  “Bella has a positive attitude and has embraced the 3 R’s during remote learning,” says one teacher.  “She has helped to create an atmosphere where everyone is involved and participates.”  Bella says her daily goal is “to do whatever I can to make sure everyone is smiling.”    She also says she loves school.  She enjoys helping others, participates in her church youth group and worship team, plays guitar, sings in the school choir, and is a member of the jazz band.  She hopes to become a counselor after graduating high school.  It is for all these reasons that Bella Anderson-Colon was chosen to represent RHS as January’s 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.