Students of the Month in September and October are (from left): Jason Burns, Eric Santilo, Guilia Weisser, Adelianny Mendez-Alvarez, Dawson Genova and Kasey Ramirez.
When 7th grader Dawson Genova saw Exeter Township Junior High Principals Mr. Alex Brown and Mrs. Jennifer Cooke walking up his driveway to his house, he was immediately filled with fear and confusion. “I was like am I in so much trouble that they had to come to my house?” Seconds later, as the principals knocked on his door and staked a “Student of the Month” lawn sign in his yard, Dawson’s fear turned to extreme relief. “I didn’t even know Student of the Month was a thing,” he said with a laugh.
Actually, he wasn’t wrong. Student of the Month was not “a thing” until this year when Assistant Principal Jennifer Cooke sought out new ways to recognize positive behavior in students. Over the summer, she came up with the bright idea to purchase lawn signs and personally deliver them to students’ yards. “A lawn sign is much more visible than a certificate,” she said, “It was important to us to find a way to acknowledge and celebrate these students' accomplishments in a visible way to their family, friends, neighbors and community.”
To be awarded as Student of the Month, Mrs. Cooke asked staff to nominate students that they felt were worthy of being recognized. She then removed students’ names from the nomination form and sent the reasons for their nomination out to the staff at large to vote. Once the votes were totaled, those who received the most votes were recognized by having Mr. Brown and Mrs. Cooke personally deliver the signs and a certificate to their homes.
Like Dawson, Eric Santilo, grade 8, said he was initially confused as to why the principals were visiting his house. “I thought I was in trouble, too,” he said with a laugh. “But this (recognition) makes me feel better about myself and my accomplishments this year,” he said. “My mom was so happy,” said Kasey Ramirez, grade 7. “All day she kept saying saying, ‘I’m so proud of you for being Student of the Month.’”
Students of the Month and their reasons for nomination are as follows:
- Dawson Genova, 7th grade: Dawson has been a well rounded student from day one.I don't think I have ever asked him to do anything twice. Besides his work in class, Dawson is eager to help around the room. He is respectful to his peers and his teachers and is always thinking about how to apply the things he learned in class. He asks questions about the content often and is just a pleasant student to have in your classroom.
- Kasey Ramirez, 7th grade: Kasey has gone above and beyond in class and outside of class to help a new student who only speaks spanish. Kasey helps her get to class and helps translate between when I am able to do so. She has done all of that without skipping a beat and without any complaints. She has been a huge help and a huge asset to our class, especially for this new student.
- Eric Santilo, 8th grade: Last year Eric was tardy to my class often. This year he is always on time. He has always been very respectful and kind to his peers in class. He goes out of his way to help another classmate who has some physical limitations. He is a pleasure to have in class and participates and completes his work.
- Addie Glidewell, 8th grade: Addie is always positive and on task and prepared. She has made tremendous strides with her reading abilities from 7th-8th grade. She is exceptionally kind and caring to both adults and classmates.
- Jason Burns, 7th grade: Jason has done a great job in class, but also shows some great examples for stepping up and helping others. Jason had a classmate absent from class more than once (for bathroom, nurse, etc) and without being asked filled in notes for that student so that the work wasn't missing. He is kind and cooperative and really just goes the extra mile to help others.
- Adelianny Mendez-Alvarez, 7th grade: She is helpful to those who need assistance, has a positive attitude toward learning, works diligently during class, and greets teachers in the hall.
- Guilia Weisser, 8th grade: Giulia always works hard in the classroom and greets everyone with a smile. She is quick to volunteer and is always up for a challenge. She is awesome!
Congratulations to all of our Junior High Students of the Month! Please make sure if you drive by one of their homes that you honk and wave to congratulate them!