FDCSD names January students, employee of the month

Smith, Gutierrez, DeCoursey, Stepan recognized

The Fort Dodge Community School District has named its students and employee of the month for January. This program recognizes one elementary, one middle school and one high school student, as well as one staff member monthly for exceeding expectations.

Madi Smith is the elementary student of the month. Jaci Schreiber nominated Smith. She stated Smith is a good role model for other students with her growth mindset and motivation to learn every day. She is a hard worker who comes to school each day ready to learn. She gets right to work and focuses until she is done. She listens while others are speaking. She is also a great example of how to follow the PBIS expectations. She is willing to be partners with any student and is always one of the first students to give a hug to others when needed. She is extremely respectful raising her hand to speak, listening and following directions. Schreiber concluded, “I am so glad Madi moved to us from Butler so I could have the privilege of being her teacher. She is definitely the kind of student we want to represent Duncombe Elementary, and Fort Dodge Schools as well!” She is the daughter of Joe and Laura Smith.

Huey Gutierrez is the middle school student of the month. Katie Moser, Breah Ewing and Sara Myer jointly nominated Gutierrez. They said Gutierrez turns in his assignments on time and does quality work. He regularly goes out of his way to make sure other students are getting the help they need and that they are feeling included. If a peer is struggling, he is the first one to offer an encouraging word or high five. He encourages others to be kind and do the right thing, and is always respectful to adults and his peers. He treats others as he wants to be treated. They concluded, “Huey is a friend to everyone, including adults. He greets people in the hallways, offers to help teachers and is genuine in everything he does. Days are brighter when you get a smile and hello from Huey.” He is the son of Elvia Guitron and Samuel Gutierrez.

Karlee DeCoursey is the Senior High student of the month. Amy Hinders nominated DeCoursey.

She said DeCoursey is an exceptional student who is always on task and is usually one of the first students done with assignments. If she missed or will miss class for any reason, she advocates for herself and gets the assignment she missed. At least two substitutes specifically mentioned DeCoursey for being extremely helpful when needed. Not only is she helpful to the substitutes, she is very good about working with other students and making them feel at ease. Hinders concluded by saying, “Karlee is smart, sweet and helpful. Students like Karlee deserve to be recognized because they make teaching easy and joyful. I enjoy having her in my class.” She is the daughter of Paul and Teresa DeCoursey.

Sara Stepan, teacher at Feelhaver Elementary, is the employee of the month. Steph Anderson nominated her. She stated Stepan is a great leader throughout the district. Not only does she think about how to best meet the needs of the students in her classroom, she shares her knowledge and experience with others throughout the district.

As a member of the elementary district ELL team, Stepan brings great insight and perspective, and shares knowledge and authentic cultural experiences with her Feelhaver team regarding her learning from engaging with this team. Stepan is very fluent with technology and works tirelessly to engage students in integrative opportunities with technology. She also shares this knowledge with her peers for organizational, planning and instructional purposes. Anderson concluded, “Sara takes our mantra ‘Together We Rise’ seriously in that she considers improvement in instructional practices a collaborative experience and definitely takes initiative in making that happen by sharing her knowledge and learning with others.”