FD schools name March students, employee of the month

Cook, Adams, Taylor and Austin honored

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

Mark Cook is the Elementary Student of the Month. He was nominated by Tabitha Acree, Riverside Early Learning Center Director. She said Cook always tries his best. He listens in the classroom and does not give up when challenged. During group activities, Cook is respectful and works well with others. He works well with any partner in class. He always participates in the monthly Rachel’s Challenge projects and is a role model for both students and adults. At Riverside, students who follow the 4Bs (be kind, respectful, responsible and safe) earn an extra recess. Acree said she had the pleasure of observing Cook and a preschool student interacting. She said Cook was very kind with the student who has special needs. She said when the student became overly excited during an activity, Cook modeled appropriate behavior and was very patient with the younger student. He interacted and played with the student the entire Buzz recess. He is the son of David and Melissa Cook.

Ty Adams is the Middle School Student of the Month. He was nominated by Marissa Gruenberg, teacher. She indicated that Adams is in tune with his academics, always trying his best and completing work on time. He is a great role model for his classmates, always turning in quality work. She said he goes out of his way to be kind and respectful, even waiting in the room to tell her “see you later” or “have a good day.” He makes sure students are included, even those who are not his best friends. He will hang out with some of the toughest students and finds a way to get them to mellow out. She said he leads by example and has conversations that make her smile just watching. Gruenberg concluded by saying, “Ty displays positive behavior day in and day out. I have him twice a day and it always makes my day. Ty is a true Dodger who puts his academics first, and his good character is second to none.” He is the son of Dan and Andi Adams.

Anna Taylor is the High School Student of the Month. She was nominated by Carrie Traver, FDSH counselor. Traver said that Taylor has maintained a high GPA her entire high school career, even while taking numerous honors, upper level and college courses. She indicated Taylor is also highly involved in National Honor Society, Link Crew, Dodger Senate and cross country. Traver continued by saying Taylor is serving in her second year as a Link Crew Leader and Mentor in Violence Prevention. She stated that recently Taylor was walking through the library and witnessed a situation that did not appear “right” where a male student was being aggressive with a female student. She immediately reported the incident to an adult. Due to her quick actions, staff were able to intervene and provide the needed supports. Traver concluded by saying, “even though the incident shook Anna emotionally, she used her quick thinking and violence prevention training to do what was right. Anna is an impressive example of what Link Leaders and Mentors in Violence Prevention should be.” She is the daughter of Brent and Kathy Taylor.

Crystal Austin, Riverside ELC secretary, is the Employee of the Month. She was nominated by Tabitha Acree, Lori Deal and Kirby Gordon. They stated that Austin goes above and beyond the expectations of being Riverside’s school secretary. They praised her management of medications and student illnesses when the nurse is not on site, her assistance with the school’s fundraisers and her leadership as the co-chair of Riverside Fun Night. They indicated Austin has a great rapport with both the students and families. They said she models good character and kindness in all that she does. They concluded by sharing, “Crystal is very loving to all of our students and will comfort them with hugs. She waves to students and family members and greets them all by name. Crystal genuinely cares about our Riverside family.”