Dowagiac schools name December Students of the Month

Published 11:50 am Wednesday, January 12, 2022

DOWAGIAC — Six local students have been selected for recognition by teachers and faculty for their outstanding performance in school in December.

Nominated by teachers and faculty from their respective schools in the Dowagiac Union School District, Andres Brito Jr., Rhylee Martin, Za’Kyrah Bennett, Adonis Irvin, Ricardo Nieto Gonzalez and Jacoby Baker were named Students of the Month. They received certificates and T-shirts with their names on them for their accomplishments and attitudes in the classroom.

Brito, an eighth-grader at Dowagiac Middle School, was nominated by STEAM teacher Sue Grear.

“Andres is a very inquisitive student who enjoys working on challenging activities,” Grear said. “He is very conscientious and is always paying attention in class. One quality I love most about him is his effort he puts into everything he does.”

Brito also had a piece of advice for students who wish to become student of the month.

“Just do their work and don’t mess around,” he said. “This will help you keep your grades up, and you can eventually get a good job when you are older.”

Martin was nominated by Patrick Hamilton Elementary second grade teacher Shelley Kurland, who said despite Martin being a new student this year, she has made friends wherever she goes.

“She is one that likes to make everyone feel welcome,” Kurland said. “The funny thing is, with her being new, you would think that people would flock to her, but it’s the opposite way around. It’s just that kind of character that makes the classroom all the much better.”

Bennett, a second-grader at Justus Gage Elementary, was nominated by teacher Sarah Proctor. Proctor praised Bennett’s ability in math, and even allowed her to teach the class how to complete a double-digit addition problem.

“She is a leader in the classroom – someone I, and her classmates, can count on to do the right thing,” Proctor said. “It’s exciting to see a student like Za’Kyrah in second grade. She is always willing to try new things. She doesn’t give up. She’s confident, and she’s a good friend to her classmates.”

Irvin was nominated by a vote of his classmates in Melissa Lillie’s second grade class at Kincheloe Elementary. According to Irvin’s classmates, he is a good friend who listens when others are talking. Irvin said he wants to be a police officer when he grows up.

Gonzalez was chosen unanimously by the teachers at Sister Lakes Elementary, who said he is kind and a delight in the classroom. According to his teachers, Gonzalez is a hard-working student who always makes time to help out a friend.

Baker, a freshman at Dowagiac Union High School, was nominated by social studies teacher Connor Michael for his kind personality and empathy toward others.

“He’s just a really good kid,” said DUHS Principal Stephanie Mitchell. “He’s a gentle spirit that others seem to flock toward.”