Geneva High School December 2013 Students of the Month
Jose Diaz, Grade 11
Nominated by Amanda Oxler
I do not have just one story or one reason why Jose is my student of the month. I have a list of attributes as to why Jose deserves this recognition. Jose is in a class where there is low motivation and the kids tend to think they are bad at math; but he stands out as a young man who won’t just accept this. He works hard every day both in class and outside of class. He rarely misses an assignment. Beyond the academics, Jose is a team player. We often work in small groups, sometimes with people the students choose and other times by chance or my choosing, no matter who Jose works with, he motivates his group to get the task complete to the best of their ability. He advocates for himself and does not get flustered when the task at hand is hard. He perseveres through the difficult parts and usually comes out successful. Jose is kind, compassionate to the people around him, and polite. But the quality that I will remember about Jose for years to come is his smile. He always has a smile on his face, and his smile is contagious, you can’t help but smile right back!
Sarah Lewis, Grade 12
Nominated by Heather Peters
Ultimately, Sarah Lewis is my student of the month because my life is just better because she is in it. She has been a member of the literary magazine staff for four years, a feat that has been accomplished by very few students. During that time, she has watched different editors as they lead the staff through the treacherous waters of magazine production. All that time she has made mental note of the kind of editor she would be if given the chance. This year, she is finally the editor in chief of the Skaldic and I could not be more impressed with her leadership ability. I have had editors in the past who have needed some guidance and some who needed serious intervention. Sarah, however, needs nothing from me at all. It is an odd feeling to be a sponsor of a club, and one that is as complicated as the literary magazine, and to not be needed. Usually, I am stressed out trying to manage the submissions, publicity, projects that students start but don’t finish, fundraising and horrors of technological meltdown. This year, before I have even had a chance to tell Sarah what needs to be done, she has already completed the task. However, the fact that she is one of the most competent editors I have ever had is not the quality that I am nominating Sarah for. It is the fact that because of Sarah, there are more new faces on the staff this year than there ever have been. It is the fact that because of Sarah, students who never thought their work was worthy of note will be submitted to the magazine this year. In her sometimes “kindly forceful way,” Sarah brings out the very best in others. She gives them the confidence they need to take a risk and to succeed (mostly because with Sarah failure is NOT an option). She is a beautiful young lady, both inside and out, and I am so proud to have spent the last four years with her.
Hailey Wishne, Grade
Nominated by Eric Hatczel
I would like to present to you the business departments Student of the Month, Hailey Wishne. This semester I have had the pleasure of getting to know Hailey and as most will tell you she has a very upbeat personality. This is very helpful in my 2nd period class as for some reason they are ultra-quiet even though they are a very high achieving group. Without hesitation Hailey takes the lead with getting discussion going or participating during an activity or notes. She is the type of student that will continue to ask questions that expand on whatever is being learned and as a result she becomes a great voice for the rest of the class. Another trait of Hailey’s is her ability to make connections between our content and things that happen in her daily life. Combine this with her leadership role in the class and she is providing the group with additional examples, helping push learning to another level. I hope that when this semester ends and a new one begins, I can continue to have more students like her.
Catherine McConnell, Grade 12
Nominated by Sue Khalaieff
Caite McConnell has been an exceptional history student for several years, so it is a pleasure to acknowledge her efforts. I’ve known Caite since she was a sophomore in my AP European History class, and was so impressed with her enthusiasm, sense of conviction and determination. Since that time, she has been extremely involved in Model United Nations: in this capacity, she has demonstrated outstanding leadership. Caite gets things done … and it is always service with a smile. And at this year’s St. Ignatius Model UN, Caite’s superior talents were recognized by winning a “Best Delegate” award. She is also doing an Independent Study with me this semester in Art History, and it has been a delightful experience for me … to watch her explore something that she has such passion for. Her energy with this requires so very little guidance—her motivation comes from within and it is a thing of beauty to witness. I’m continuously dazzled by this young lady’s intellect, spunk and style. It is a privilege to honor her as the Social Studies Student of the Month.
Simran Sachdev, Grade 11
Nominated by Brittany Bailey-Cole
Simran Sachdev is my choice for student of the month because she is an inspirational leader both in and out of the classroom. Simran is one of the captains of the Speech Team. She always comes to meetings ready to help out with whatever she can. She leads the team by example; Simran encourages her teammates, finds time to listen to their pieces, promotes the values of the team and supports her teammates. Simran has been through more than most this year, but she has still risen to persevere not only at what has been thrown at her, but above and beyond. On December 7th, Simran was awarded a 1st place medal at the Morris Speech Invitational. Simran makes sure that the little things are taken care of without being asked to do so. She is dependable, outgoing, caring and most of all a joy to have on the team.
Kaleigh Hollister, Grade 12
Nominated by Jason Dworak
Kaleigh is a perfect example of what a P.E. leader should be. It’s tough to put into a short paragraph what she does for my class on a daily basis. I feel as if I have a second teacher with me at all times. I can always count on her to make the right decisions and to not hesitate a second if a student needs help or a little extra verbal motivation. Have a conversation with Kaleigh and you will quickly see that she is a terrific person with such a level-headed disposition that displays a selflessness demeanor rarely seen in a high school student. I will sorely miss having Kaleigh in my class next semester, but will often refer back to her character and leadership qualities as I help the next group of P.E. leaders try to succeed. I wish her all the best in the future but I know with confidence that she will be successful in whatever path in life she decides to take.
Mary Owen, Grade 11
Nominated by Deanna Bach
There are certain students who leave a lasting impression on you as a teacher. Students who not only excel academically, but who display a certain character that you can only hope will inspire other students to act with the same generosity, kindness, and genuine care for others. I have had the pleasure of having Mary in my Spanish 1 class and my Spanish 2 honors class this year. She is my nomination for student of the month because I believe that she possesses these unique and honorable traits that deserve to be recognized. Mary is one of the most respectful students I have had in class. She is thoughtful, polite, and sets a positive example for her classmates.
She is passionate about the language and strives to continue to improve her Spanish daily. She values her education, has a positive attitude in class, and does not hesitate to offer help to other students in need. Although she is quiet, she is a leader. She is responsible and comes to class every day with a smile, eager to get started, and meet the challenges of the language. She has a variety of outstanding skills within the language and beyond and I am certain that she will continue to have a lasting impression on the people she encounters.
Jim Zellmer, Grade 10
Nominated by Nikki Pollack
Jim Zellmer is my student of the month because he is a positive young man who always has a “hello” for his teachers in the hallway. It is never a surprise to see Jim’s hand raised, ready to weigh-in on class discussions. This same enthusiasm can be seen in Jim’s classwork because he is always striving to put forth his best effort. His sense of humor never fails to bring a smile to both his classmates’ and his teachers’ faces. Jim is a more than exceptional recipient of this award. Congratulations, Jim!
Nicholas Weede, Grade 9
Nominated by Jason Lesatz
Cole Weede is the Science Department’s student of the month because of his contagious passion for science that he brings to class every day. Cole is always eager to get started with the day’s lesson and greets me when he enters the room. Without fail I can count on him to ask good, insightful questions that spark conversation in class. His thought provoking questions let me know that he is not only paying attention, but he is fully engaged in the learning process and wants more. He is always willing to put aside what he is doing to give a helping hand and assist a classmate that may be struggling. Throughout the semester he has consistently shown that he is prepared, inquisitive, and helpful — all characteristics of a budding scientist that have captured the positive attention of his classmates. For those reasons, as well as many others not mentioned, Cole is well deserving of the Science Student of the Month.
Justin Boschelli, Grade 11
Nominated by Julie Lawrence
Justin Boschelli is the Music Department’s nominee for Student of the Month for December 2013. Justin is a good-hearted young man who is liked and respected by his peers in the Chamber Orchestra. He is consistently polite, respectful and helpful towards others, and has a winsome, ready smile that starts in the warmth of his eyes and spreads quickly across the rest of his face. Justin takes the initiative to make good things happen for the group. As an example, he took it upon himself to spearhead the purchase of class T-shirts this fall. From selecting the design, font, colors and slogan, to ordering, collecting payment and sizes, and finally distributing our Chamber Orchestra T-shirts when they arrived, he worked diplomatically and collaboratively on this project with the rest of Orchestra Council and the members of the class as a whole to create a shirt everyone liked and wanted. Justin not only makes a solid contribution to the first violin section in rehearsal every day and at our school concerts, he is also a willing participant when the orchestra is called upon to provide music for various community outreach events, assembling and rehearsing small groups of fellow musicians to capably carry out these performances for the enjoyment of all. He is a fine young man and a tremendous asset to the orchestra in so many ways, and therefore it is my pleasure to nominate him as our Student of the Month.
SOURCE: School District 304