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Ridgefield School District Honors March Employee and Students of the Month
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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

The Employee of the Month is Susan Hayley-Gates, STEM paraprofessional at View Ridge Middle School.  Susan’s steadfast support of View Ridge students, particularly this fall with a teacher on maternity leave, continues to make this innovative program accessible for all students. Her hard work, expertise, and flexibility kept the students on track while the class transitioned through two substitute teachers in the process.  Susan truly stepped up to the plate when we needed her most, essentially playing the role of teacher out of necessity.  Her calm, empathetic approach meets kids where they are at and spurs significant growth in their skills. She has taken the time and put in the work to learn the STEM curriculum to a depth not always achieved by someone in her role.  

The STEM department is fortunate to have someone as selfless as Susan, who will take on the extra responsibilities that she recognizes is needed.  The STEM staff is grateful for her help every day.  For all this and so much more that she does every day, she is very deserving of the honor of March Employee of the Month.

Students of the Month

America Lozano Perez, a second grader, is March’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  The South Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of America.  They write, “America knows that she can keep trying even when things get hard.  Her true joy of learning is evident every day.  She puts in great effort and gets great results in her school work.  She is kind to her peers beyond expectations.  Her smile is a signature move that she uses over and over to greet peers and staff alike.”

Jake Sorensen, a first grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary School.  The Union Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Jake.  Jake was new to Union Ridge at the beginning of the year.  It did not take long for his classmates to realize that this was a peer to get to know.  What draws people to Jake first is his kindness.  His picture should be in the dictionary.  He includes all students, both boys and girls.  He is a good friend to all.  His demeanor is very calming and peaceful with a quietness about him that soothes all who are around him, including his teacher!  In the classroom, his academics are excellent.  He is a student who gets right on a task and stays focused until he completes it, no matter what else is going on around him.  He works hard and is very conscientious about his work.

Lily Taylor, a fifth grader, is March’s Student of the Month at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  The Sunset Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Lily.  They write, “We are always impressed by Lily’s work ethic and integrity.  She is an advocate for herself and her peers.  She demonstrates empathy and compassion that is not easily matched.  While her progress can also be measured in academic growth, it is her self-confidence that has truly been highlighted this year.  She is a humble and gracious learner who extends her kindness far and wide.  What a wonderful ambassador for our Coyotes!  Lily doesn’t let anything get in her way.  She is a brave young lady who does not let struggles get her down.  She is gentle and kind to everyone.”

Hyrum Bennett, a seventh grader, was chosen at View Ridge Middle School.  The View Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Hyrum.  They write, “Hyrum is an exemplary student who leads quietly by example and makes everyone around him better.  No matter if he is working with a partner or a group, he always strives to do his best while encouraging and showing his classmates how to do their best.  Hyrum has an infectious positive and hard-working attitude that has earned him respect from the staff and his peers alike.  He is one of strong character and integrity.  With his excellent work ethic, Hyrum has a bright future ahead of him.”

Brock Harrison, a senior, was chosen from Ridgefield High School.  Brock is described as a quiet leader who always does the right thing and is an all-around great Spudder.  He is an exceptional student athlete who has competed for four years in both football and baseball for the Spudders.  On February 20th, Brock signed his college letter of intent to play collegiate football for the Eagles at Eastern Washington University.  One described Brock as “an excellent student, an excellent athlete and a kind person.”  Although Brock has received several awards, scholarships and recognitions, you’d never know it by his humble attitude.  Brock takes advanced classes at RHS and hopes to study marketing or business at Eastern.  We are proud of the many outstanding students who attend Ridgefield High School and proud of Brock for being chosen to represent the school as March Student of the Month.

Ridgefield School District is grateful to its sponsors, James Schmeling of Allstate Insurance Company, whose local office is providing funding to support the district’s recognition program during this school year, and the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation.