Kiwanis Terrific Kids for January
St. Luke Catholic School
Carmen Elsasser, daughter of Katie and Joe Elsasser and sister of Haley and Owen is in eighth grade.
Carmen's favorite subject is social studies because she likes learning about different time periods and different people. Carmen also likes to learn new things in math.
She loves acting, reading and softball. She is a softball pitcher and also played volleyball and basketball.
Carmen's favorite thing to do is bake. Her specialty is donuts! After high school she would either like to go to acting school with aspirations to perform on Broadway or in the movies, or go to culinary school and work in a bakery in London.
Carmen is the middle child and likes having an older sister to give her tips, and it's nice to have a younger brother to beat up.
Her teachers say: "It is such a pleasure to celebrate Carmen as a Terrific Kid! Carmen is loved by the St. Luke community for her kindness, creativity, and thoughtfulness. She is happy being her authentic self. Her participation in class brings compassionate light to issues of social justice and care for others. She aims to constantly improve herself and be a source of good for the world in need.
She is a talented writer and has a gift for putting words together and storytelling. Carmen quietly takes on leadership roles such as starring in school plays, heading up service activities with her class, and serving on the student leadership team.
She is a regular altar server at St. Luke Church, and a young woman of genuine faith. Carmen's dreams are big and meaningful, and I have no doubt she will succeed in fulfilling them."
Leah Thompkins, daughter of Isaiah and Rachel and sibling to Jada, Anna and Gabbi is in eighth grade.
Leah loves science, social studies and art. She likes to do research on popular and current topics, like gender equality, so she can have a knowledge base when having a conversation.
Leah also likes to day dream about imaginary worlds and dreams of visiting Asian countries to experience the unique cultures and how they connect.
After high school, Leah would like to go to college and become an animator or psychologist. Leah likes being the oldest child because she can pave the way!
Her teachers say: "It's exciting to have Leah as a Terrific Kid! She has worked hard to show academics are important to her.
Leah shares her talents with our school community in so many ways. She is a gifted artist who is willing to share her talents and led her class in designing and painting the sets for the Christmas program. She exercises kindness and compromise in her work with others and is greatly valued as a group member.
Leah contributes her unique perspective to class discussions. Her independent work is thorough and shows excellent effort. She is a student driven by curiosity, making her a life-long learner who is willing to embrace her love of learning by seeking out learning opportunities on her own."
Valor Middle School
Alanah Beaudre is the sixth-grade daughter of Judy Marie and Jason Beaudre and step-father Devin Barnum and has two siblings — Tyler and Daryl.
Alanah's favorite activities involve anything that has to do with art, but she also enjoys social studies, because she enjoys learning about other cultures and ELA classes due to her love of writing and reading.
Alanah's interest in other people spurs her to want to pursue psychology in the future. She also wants to continue studying art as a means of expressing herself and would one day like to visit Alaska and Hawaii to see how people live in those different climates.
Teacher Ashley Cogburn nominated Alanah because "she is constantly helping others and the teacher in class. She is a trustworthy student who always strives for more — to learn more, know more and help more.
She always walks with me to the building for lunch and updates me on what she's working on. Today, we talked about a collaborative comic strip she is making with a friend, based on their D&D characters.
In the classroom, she is always questioning, or bringing up a new perspective for us all to think about. She is great pulling other students into daily learning and loves to help out her friends in class. She is a great student with so much potential."
Seventh-grader Jesus Diaz is the son of Sindy and Juvenal Diaz and the older brother to siblings Noemi, Mauricio and Isaac.
Jesus enjoys PE and science classes the best. He enjoys doing experiments in the classroom and likes to play soccer, where he competes for Salem Academy. He also works on school holidays with his dad at a tree nursery.
Jesus has several aspirations for the future — chiefly, a career as a professional soccer player, preferably in Spain because of all the great soccer clubs there that he would like to try out for. Jesus would also like to go to college to become an engineer.
Teacher Robin Hunt-Kievit applauds Jesus' great attendance and work ethic.
"He helps others in class that struggle with science concepts," Hunt-Kievit said. "An all-around great kid!"
Rigoberto Mendoza Lorenzo
Rigoberto Mendoza Lorenzo is the eighth-grade son of Gregorio Mendoza and Marcela Lorenzo and brother to sibling Cirilo.
Rigoberto's favorite class is math, and he enjoys playing soccer and learning to speak English. His future aspiration is to be a fire fighter.
Teacher Roxanne LaForce says, "He is a very ambitious student who is driven to learn. He is eager to help others and willing to help the teacher. He is so kind and respectful."
French Prairie Middle School
Sixth-grade Felix Hernandez is the son of Jesus Hernandez and Irene Ventura and has three siblings: Daria, Jesus and Diego.
Felix is very physically active at school — his favorite activities include PE, recess and playing basketball.
After graduating high school, he wants to play professional soccer.
His teachers say, "Felix is hard working, kind to others and positive. He is a great example to other students."
Alyana Ramirez is the seventh-grade daughter of Roy and Amy Ramirez. Alyana has two siblings — Austin and Aubry.
Alyana's favorite activities mostly include sports, particularly basketball, where she regularly competes with her tournament team. At school, her favorite class is advanced math.
Alyana plans to attend college after graduating high school and would like the opportunity to play basketball collegiately as well.
Her teachers say, "Aly is an extremely hard worker. She is a conscientious person, both socially and academically. She strives to do her best at all times and takes charge of her learning."
Destina Ybarra is in eighth grade and is the daughter of Nancy and Raul Ybarra. She has four siblings — Virgil, Steven, Joseph and Raul Jr.
Destina's favorite classes at school are literacy and math; she also enjoys playing basketball.
In the future, Destina would like to attend college so she can further study speech pathology, with the goal of working with kids on developing their motor skills.
Her teachers praise Destina as both smart and motivated.
"She works hard in her classes and is the first to help out her teachers when they need it. She models Spartan Manners every day by being safe, responsible and respectful. Destina is focused on her post-high school goal, and I am sure she will accomplish it."