Dowagiac honors February Students of The Month

Published 3:56 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac Union Schools Board of Education honored the district’s February Students of The Month during its meeting Monday night at Dowagiac Middle School.

One student was chosen from each school after a nomination from a staff member. Each student of the month received a framed certificate and a T-shirt with their name printed on it.

Ty’lisia Horton-Epps was chosen as Dowagiac Union High School’s Student of The Month and was nominated by English Teacher Andrea Sprague.

“Ty’lisia was nominated for Student of The Month because she always comes to class with a great big smile on her face and a wonderfully positive attitude,” Sprague said. “Junior year of English can be quite challenging as students are preparing for the SAT along with learning many other important skills. Even on the most challenging of classroom assignments, Ty’lisia never gives up, not only that but she uses her joyful spirit to encourage others around her to give their best as well. She also supports her peers in the classroom by helping them when they are struggling and she often does so without even being asked. It’s just another part of her wonderful character and friendly personality. 

“Finally, Ty’lisia often shows compassion and empathy to both her peers and her teachers. Her sparkle and zest for life add joy to everyone’s day at DUHS.””

Dowagiac Middle School seventh grader Charleigh Cassidy was named the school’s Student of The Month for the month of February. Cassidy was nominated by social studies teacher Collin Churchill. 

“If I could bet on which students will be successful leaders one day, I would put all of my money on Charleigh,” Churchill said. “I wholeheartedly believe that we stand a good chance of finding her or having us working for her someday, including her classmates. She’s an amazing student that is always engaged in the classroom and her straight A’s reflect the hard work that she puts into her school. For full transparency, Charlie is in the class that’s a little challenging. Despite this, I never have to worry about her, though. Oftentimes, she helps me with the others in the room.

“I’m very proud of Charleigh for the work that she has done thus far this school year. She truly deserves this award.”

Kincheloe kindergartener Rowan Leitke was nominated for Student of The Month by his teacher Melissa McDonald.

“Rowan has been chosen to be Kincheloe Student of The Month because he is the true representation of what a Chieftain hero looks like and acts like,” McDonald said. “Rowan is helpful to his teacher and his classmates. He always takes a minute to scan the room to see if anyone needs help…Not only does he help his friends, but he visually checks in with the adults in the classroom as well to see if they need anything. During small groups. I always catch him checking on me to see if I think everything is running smoothly. After I make eye contact with him, he always makes sure to give me the sweetest smile. Rowan is a joy to have in the classroom. We are so happy to have Rowan, representing Kincheloe and our Chieftain hero expectations.”

Kindergartener Raevyn Robson earned Student of The Month honors for Justus Gage Elementary and was nominated by her teacher Sara Melvin.

“Raevyn is kind and compassionate and she has been seen being a great friend to others and when they’re sad helping them out with learning or other things in the classroom,” Melvin said. “She also has a great sense of humor and has become more independent in her work. Raevyn has grown a lot in her reading, writing and math skills… She has been a hero at Justus Gageby walking in the hallways, working during work times and following directions. She is a positive role model for other students throughout the day.

“The entire Justus Gage family is very proud of Raevyn and her accomplishments during her short time at Justice Gage.”

Zoe Woodruff was chosen as February’s Student of The Month at Sister Lakes Elementary and was nominated by her kindergarten teacher, Tara Reinhardt.

“Zoe is a great role model for her classmates,” Reinhardt said. “She’s always responsible, respectful and hard working, I have witnessed Zoe’s empathy for others, reflected in the kind way that her friends treat her. She’s a great example to have in the classroom. Not only is Zoe empathetic towards her classmates, she’s also towards myself… I can always count on Zoe to lift my spirits with her kind words and big hugs. She’s definitely well deserving of the Student of The Month award and I’m lucky to have her as my student.”

First-grader Elizabeth Higgs was selected as Student of The Month for Patrick Hamilton Elementary school. She was nominated by teacher Mallory Alphenaar.

“Elizabeth was chosen as the Student of The Month for her continuous growth in kindergarten,” Alphenaar said. “She walks in with a smile and is ready to learn. Elizabeth participates in classroom discussions and is polite and a great friend to our classmates.”