Student Spotlight April 2023

The Student Spotlight feature of each LPS Board meeting, new to the Board’s agenda this year, celebrates a student or a group of students who are living out the Portrait of an LPS Graduate. 

Portrait of an LPS Graduate
What is the Portrait of an LPS Graduate? Tomorrow’s workers will succeed by constantly adapting to the changing world around them. Today’s students must begin by learning new life skills. In response, about four years ago, more than 300 local industry leaders, teachers, community members, parents and students discussed what the new learning priorities should be. Focus groups of LPS high school students reviewed this feedback, shared their priorities and compiled the Portrait of an LPS Graduate, which outlines the attributes/skills of an LPS graduate:

  • Well-adjusted, Thriving and Balanced
  • Communication
  • Global/Cultural Awareness
  • Character
  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity
  • Risk-Taking
  • Resiliency
  • Collaboration
  • Self Advocacy
  • All surrounding Rigorous and Relevant Academic Skills


April 13, 2023
At the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting on April 13, 2023, students from Goddard Middle School, Ford Elementary School, and Transition Services were recognized in the Student Spotlight. 

Goddard Middle School students Addie Aragon and Mary Lowery exemplify positivity and compassion. They have taken it upon themselves to support the students in Goddard’s center-based special education program. Every day, Addie and Mary check in to see where they can help kids get excited about going to their elective classes. They go to the center-based classroom and walk students to their elective class. They participate in class with them and help include the center-based students in the activities for the day. Addie and Mary have both told principal Bryan Breuer that it is the highlight of their day, every day! The other students light up whenever Addie and Mary show up. It is obvious that they are positive role models. Addie also supported the unified basketball team, and Mary was only prevented from supporting the team because of her own competitive soccer practices after school. These two also spread joy throughout the school by continuing and enhancing traditions that have been a part of Goddard for many years. For example, they spread miniature toys around the school on special days. Students and staff are all excited to see how many they can find hidden in Goddard’s nooks and crannies. Mary and Addie have been covert; the students and staff don’t know it’s them. Both have left a lasting mark on Goddard culture by demonstrating kindness, care, and compassion for all students and teachers. They have the Portrait of a Graduate traits of Character, Risk-Taking, and Collaboration in abundance. Thank you, Mary and Addie!

From Ford Elementary School, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, otherwise known as PBIS, Ambassadors were recognized. Nolan Benson, Hadley Heim, and Brielle Lucas have led Ford’s school-wide monthly morning meetings. They create and deliver the morning meeting lesson to 700 members of the school community. Principal Teresa Burden said, “It is my great honor to recognize their leadership, confidence, and ability to inspire all of our Ford Foxes to demonstrate ‘Teamwork Matters, Embrace Kindness, Act Respectfully, and Make Safe Choices.’ Thank you for all you have done this year for Dr. Justina Ford Elementary.

From Transition Services, the Board recognized Sean Fagan, Ian Jorgenson, and Kira Lennebacker. Transition Services is a community-based program that serves a wide range of students with disabilities who are 18–21 years of age. These young adults were recommended for the Student Spotlight by the LPS Information Technology team. They partner with IT multiple times a week by coming to the Education Services Center (ESC) and processing new and used Chromebooks. In doing their work, they must demonstrate the qualities of independence, collaboration, attention to detail, and patience. They process new Chromebooks by unboxing them, adding inventory tags, and then coding them so they are part of the LPS system. The students are the personification of the LPS Portrait of a Graduate, especially the traits of Resiliency, Problem Solving, and Adaptability. While the district benefits from their help and hard work, the students benefit from gaining exposure to working with more adults and undertaking increasingly sophisticated tasks. Prior students in this project have done mock interviews with IT staff to build that experience as they begin to enter the workforce, and IT leaders help them with networking and résumé development. It is a win/win partnership.

Another Transition Services student, Khrystya Gordon was recognized for the tremendous growth she has made during her time with Transition Services. She brings sunshine and just a touch of Rock’n’Roll everywhere she goes. The ESC looks forward to seeing her every week with Mountain Man food sales. Khrystya’s kindness, compassion for others, and sparkling sense of fashion have made a lasting impact on LPS. She personifies the LPS Portrait of a Graduate traits of Character, Creativity, and Communication.

As always, our amazing LPS students continue to shine brightly and set a wonderful example for everyone. We are so proud of the character of the students we serve, and we know they will continue to do great things throughout life!

April 27, 2023
At the April 27, 2023 Board of Education meeting, students from Hopkins Elementary School, Field Elementary School, and Euclid Middle School were recognized in the Student Spotlight segment.

Hopkins Elementary School
Austen Wangaard has demonstrated adaptability and resiliency over the past several years in his journey as a reader, but this year especially has seen Austen grow tremendously. He has transitioned from negative self-talk to being more confident in his reading abilities and knows how to face a challenge. When Austen took the iReady assessment, which is just one tool teachers use to understand where students are at, his scores increased from fall to winter by 145 percent, which is just incredible. Austen also treats adults and students with respect and he shares his light with the whole Hopkins community.

Allaire Anderson has consistently demonstrated leadership when working as a peer mentor. She has a great sense of humor and she is warm and friendly to people of all types and ages. She has the ability to work with anyone. She began the year unsure of whether 6th grade math was a fit for her, but has since grown tremendously and is now known in math class as the person who will use creative problem solving to find the answer to a challenging problem.

Emerson Bittler has gained tremendous confidence over the last several years. She is a thoughtful, kind, and helpful student. Emerson is patient and caring, especially with her kindergarten mentee. Emerson will encourage the kindergartener to join and participate but also understands when not to push her and will work to engage other kindergarten mentees. She’s an excellent role model for her peers and a great asset to the Hopkins community!

Beckett Sorensen is consistently considerate, flexible, and bright! He is intentional in his conversations with both peers and adults and is kind and friendly to everyone around him. He demonstrates strong empathy and leadership skills. Beckett’s compassion shines brightly each day, and he is a true model for his peers on being a positive presence in Hopkins.

Franklin Self has grown tremendously this year in many areas. He also grew over 100 points on his iReady assessments, and is a much more confident reader than when the school year started. Frankie contributes his thinking and impressive vocabulary with his peers. He has demonstrated resilience through some tough situations, and he always comes to school with a respectful and positive attitude, contagious smile, and a willingness to give every day his best.

Field Elementary School
Orvin Villeda Lara
Josephine Thomas
Aiden Pacheco
Levi Marshall
Edgar Lopez
Leigha Marsh
Sophia Trujillo
Azzie Quintana
Dominic Dixon
Brynna Jelinek

These students are being recognized for their above-and-beyond dedication and participation in Celebrate the Beat. This is an organization that partners with several of our schools to use dance and movement to teach skills like collaboration, resilience, and self-advocacy. These skills also happen to be traits we look for in our LPS Graduates.

These students have demonstrated risk-taking by showing vulnerability in attempting new dances with their peers. They continue to push and challenge themselves and each other. Each of the students present tonight are excellent models of what it looks like to learn through experience and feedback. 

While dance can be an individual endeavor, these students are in continuous collaboration with their instructors, the music, and each other. As part of a dance routine and crew, they come to rely upon each other and recognize the power of showing up for your team.

Finally, resilience is an absolute necessity for these students. They have shown, time after time, that each of them is capable of learning from mistakes and missteps. They are here because they bounce back and persevere.

Euclid Middle School
Oliver Tuttle brings pure joy to the halls of Euclid Middle School. He is a genuine friend to every one of his classmates, and he truly cares about the wellbeing of others. Oliver models the Euclid way of being respectful, excellent, and accepting as a leader. He shows character and collaboration every day while working with others and holding high expectations for himself and others. 

Junior Perea Monclova is a natural leader who is a joy to be around! He consistently works hard and actively participates in classes to get the most out of his learning. As a bilingual student, he has helped ELD students on numerous occasions to translate and support in class. Teachers and peers alike find that he is helpful and respectful to everyone around him. He shows great character, collaboration, and cultural awareness every day.

Savina Aguilera is a conscientious student who consistently puts 100 percent into her classwork and participation. She gives in-depth and thoughtful comments during class discussions. She is a talented writer and photographer and serves as a leader to other student journalists for the Euclid yearbook. She also served as stage manager for the school musical, which was a huge responsibility and she did a wonderful job. She helped train new members of the stage crew and stepped up to help whenever someone needed it.

The group of students recognized at the April 27 Board of Education meeting really has kindness and compassion as a common thread. LPS is so lucky to have students like this in our district. These are the ones who shine brightly enough to help others find their way, and the LPS community is stronger and a better place to be because of them. LPS is grateful for each of you, and we will watch with pride as you continue to improve the world around you.