FDCSD names April students and employee of the month

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

Harper Sandahl is the elementary student of the month. Shannon Grossnickle nominated her. She said Sandahl takes her time to ensure her assignments are done to the best of her ability. She said Sandahl is always up for an academic challenge and shared that when she had to write a pourquoi tale, she knocked it out of the park, including not only all the basic elements, but also her own voice.

Sandahl models good character and kindness regularly. Grossnickle shared that Sandahl works well with all students. She gives other students genuine compliments throughout the day. Grossnickle said she knows when she is gone Sandahl will be a leader in the classroom. Grossnickle concluded, “when I came back from maternity leave, which was hard for me, Harper was so welcoming and helped make the transition easier. She is a model student and makes me glad I returned to teaching.”

She is the daughter of Jon and Jamie Sandahl.

Jayden Lennon is the middle school student of the month. Julie Ulrich nominated Lennon. She said he is a hard-working, responsible student who always has his materials, is organized, and turns quality work in on time. He does a great job volunteering in class and sharing his thinking. He is a creative thinker and is not afraid to take risks. Lennon is nice to everyone. His kindness is modeled when he is willing to partner with anyone and offers help to those who need it and are sometimes challenging to work with.

Lennon follows expectations even if others around him are not and when no one is watching. He remains focused and does not get off track or contribute to inappropriate behaviors in challenging situations. Ulrich concluded, “Jayden is a wonderful example for others, and I hope the peers he impacts aspire to emulate his great character and work ethic. He is a joy to be around and teach.”

He is the son of Ronny and Heidi Lennon.

Maria Rosado is the high school student of the month. Ed Birkey nominated Rosado. He said she has been one of the most consistent robotics team members over the past two years. She has been a fantastic role model and has done an outstanding job recruiting future members to take part in the program.

As a team, more than 800 hours of outreach and service have been logged, and Rosado has the most hours. She also spent countless hours keeping the required Robotics Notebook up to date, which resulted in recognition at the local, regional and state competitions. In addition, her involvement contributed to numerous other awards this season. Rosado is always the first to organize and volunteer for events. She spearheaded activities to promote kindness with the club and is always looking out for others. Birkey concluded, “Maria has been a great asset to our school and community, and while she graduates this fall, she has indicated she will remain involved as a mentor for future teams. That’s the true definition of a DodgerBot!”

She is the daughter of Santos Merida and Teresa Guillen.

Shawn Bennett and Tom Daniel are our employees of the month. The sixth-grade teachers nominated them. They said Bennett and Daniel are an amazing team who work to support the sixth-grade students and teachers. They are always visible and willing to do what it takes to help. The teachers shared that when they need help, these two show up every time to support them. They stated Bennett and Daniel do a great job of holding students accountable, communicating with teachers and providing resources to help them better their practices in the classroom. They said they work diligently to build authentic, meaningful relationships with students, which has helped at times they needed to have difficult conversations with kids. They stated there is a mutual respect and it shows, because students are willing to have these conversations and to work to resolve issues.

They concluded, “We are extremely grateful to work alongside Shawn and Tom, who come to FDMS every single day ready to tackle any challenge and to celebrate the successes of their students and staff.”

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