FDCSD names May students, employee of the month

Pederson, Sandahl, Drummond and Russell recognized

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

Cal Pederson is the Elementary Student of the Month. Kristin Hatton nominated him. She stated Pederson is a hard working student who always strives to do his best. He will ask questions and seek solutions when posed with a challenging academic problem. His tenacity is contagious and he will not rest until he finds a strategy he understands. Pederson models good character and kindness by writing positive and inspiring notes to his classmates on the class message board. He does this when others are not looking and leaves the notes for others to find. He has also left notes on Hatton’s desk, making her day. Hatton concluded, “Cal should be honored as student of the month for his determination to do his best academically and the kind and compassionate behavior he exhibits to his classmates.” He is the son of Nick and Amy Pederson.

Leah Sandahl is the Middle School Student of the Month. Alyssa Faylor nominated Sandahl. She said Sandahl does what is expected of her every day. She is ready to go at the start of class, does not have to be reminded to do her work, is on task when working in groups, and asks what she missed when she is absent. She is always positive and has a smile on her face in class. She is kind and respectful to classmates and teachers. Sandahl is a quiet leader, not always the most outspoken but consistently doing the right thing. Faylor concluded, “Leah is a role model, with others seeing her as an example of doing what is right. She is a joy to have in class, and I know she will continue to do great things next year at the high school.” She is the daughter of Ann Sandahl.

Hannah Drummond is the High School Student of the Month. Mallory Mitchell nominated her. She said Drummond comes to class every day ready to learn with a positive attitude. She has a growth mindset. Even when something is tough, she listens and keeps trying until she figures it out. No matter who she is partners with, she shows respect, kindness and a willingness to both learn from and help others. Drummond is a generous and caring person. She brings in small gifts for teachers, and shares her treats and supplies with students at her table. She is active in student government and volunteers for activities where she can bring joy to others. She participates in Dodger Senate’s “Room Service” because she likes to make the teachers smile. Mitchell concluded, “Hannah is kind, creative and intelligent. She is caring and goes out of her way to make the people around her smile. She is an awesome human being and FDSH is lucky to have her.” She is the daughter of Dylan and Janelle Drummond.

Shawn Russell is the Employee of the Month. Dennys Canto nominated her. Canto said Russell ensures all parents are informed about what their kids are learning. She goes live on Facebook during class so parents can experience their kids in action. She does Facebook Live book readings each night before her students go to bed, even doing this while she was on vacation. She applied for and received a FDCS Foundation grant to send level reading books home so her students could have additional resources. With the help of another teacher, she established a diversity group to address some of the cultural issues affecting students. She sends “good news letters” home to acknowledge students’ hard work and reinforce her relationships with parents. Russell takes the time necessary to develop relationships with each of her students and their parents. She understands the needs of her students and provides individualized instruction so each can reach his/her full potential. Canto concluded, “I have had the opportunity to get to know Mrs. Russell as a parent and a co-worker. She is truly a person I look up to personally and professionally.”


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