FD schools name January students, employee of month
The Fort Dodge Community School District has named its students and employees 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.
Ethan Tjalsma is the Elementary Student of the Month. Anna Boustead nominated him. She said Tjalsma works hard to complete his assignments effectively and efficiently and is excellent at staying on task. He is excited about learning and making connections, so much so that it is contagious to the other kids. Tjalsma enjoys helping other students once he completes his own work. He shows great character throughout the day, talking to new friends and including others when they need someone to talk to or are nearby.
“Ethan is a great role model with his outstanding behavior and his growth mindset,” Boustead said. “I can always count on him to model for others how to treat one another.” He is the son of Jon and Kristen Tjalsma.
Felicity Strain is the Middle School Student of the Month. Allix Williamson nominated her. Williamson said Strain is always attentive in class, participates in discussion and turns in high quality work. She is enthusiastic about learning. Strain models good character not only with her peers, but also with her teachers. She is compassionate and empathetic, willing to listen to others who she may not agree with and always shows respect. “Felicity shows up every day with a smile on her face and a helping hand for everyone she encounters,” Williamson said. She is the daughter of Thomas and Kristine Strain.
Kathryn Flores is the High School Student of the Month. Nick Vinson nominated Flores. He said that even with her extracurricular activities, Flores stays current on her school work and continues to deliver her best work. She spends time before and after practice making sure she gets the most out of her academic abilities. Flores is a positive leader on the bowling team, nurturing the new team members and leading by example. She comes to practice ready to work and better herself. She also pushes her teammates to get the best out of themselves, too.
“Kat is kind and has made it her mission to welcome everyone into the bowling team,” Vinson said. “I can’t think of a person who would be a better role model for the younger bowlers and students at FDSH.”
She is the daughter of Melchor and Beth Flores.
Shawn Grossnickle is the Employee of the Month. Both Adam Kent and Staci Laird nominated him. They said Grossnickle builds strong relationships with students and their families, is always available for them and communicates regularly with them about student progress. They said he also collaborates and communicates constantly with the rest of the staff to problem solve and make sure kids are getting the supports they need. They shared his ability to connect with, motivate and hold students — who many staff members struggle to work with — accountable to learning and the school rules without creating a power dynamic. They indicated Grossnickle is positive, solution focused and a pleasure to work with.
“Shawn’s nature is to help anyone who needs it,” Laird said. “He works hard to make sure he is addressing not just the academic needs of our kids, but making sure their personal well-being is addressed, too.”