The Student Spotlight segment of each Board meeting celebrates a student or a group of students who are living out the Portrait of an LPS Graduate, which highlights the life skills each LPS graduate should have. Tomorrow’s workers will succeed by constantly adapting to the changing world around them, and today’s students must begin by learning and developing life skills - where every student should be well-adjusted, thriving, and balanced.
Additionally, students will develop skills in:
LPS strives to implement opportunities to grow these skills at every level of education and recognize students of all ages. At their regularly scheduled meeting on October 26, 2023, the Board of Education recognized two students from Gaskill Elementary School and one student from Arapahoe High School.
Ellie Ferguson is a fifth grader at Gaskill Elementary. Ellie exemplifies the Portrait of a Graduate traits of Creativity and Communication. She attended Franklin Elementary, where, as a first grader in 2018, she was bursting with all sorts of ideas. Then she attended Highland, where her mind continued to “overflow like a bubbling cauldron” according to principal Leslie Dominick. Ellie was full of language and concepts that most couldn’t conceive of until she made them come alive. She is able to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary with her ability to craft lively sentences with humor and voice. Ellie advocates for her ideas, often approaching the teachers with a polite, “I think we should…” or a “Do you think we could…” and then finishing it with some fantastic lesson-altering idea. She came up with a whole brain break called “Boppers and Beepers,” which her peers love, and last year she partnered on at least two separate scripts for original plays and musicals for the fourth graders at their new school, Gaskill Elementary. Leslie Dominick also said, “The very best aspect of Ellie is that her favorite thing to do is create for others. Last year, as a fourth grader on our district math competition team, Ellie created gorgeous, hand-made cards and matching necklaces for her teammates as well as for the fifth grade team, supporting others at a high-stress competition. We’re so lucky to have Ellie as a part of the Gaskill community.”
Vivian Moon is also a fifth grader at Gaskill. Principal Leslie Dominick said, “It doesn’t take long at all to realize Vivian is one special human being. She is the kind of student with limitless potential and curiosity for the world around her.” Vivian is a stand-out example of the Portrait of a Graduate attributes of Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Problem Solving. Her mind is constantly connecting, questioning, reasoning, and sorting. For some intensive minds, it can be difficult to reach outward and support others, but this is not the case for Vivian. She is always thinking about her group or team. She gently and maturely guides her peers during discussions, often asking questions that push them into deeper analysis and understanding. She questions logic, finds mistakes, and is able to critique in an academic style that is exceedingly rare for a fifth grader. As a student, she is relentlessly hard working, but as a friend, she is funny, silly, generous, and kind. Leslie Dominick also said, “Our role in the school is to set rigorous learning targets, and Vivian is my guiding force that yes, they can all do it if given the opportunity. Her creative writing, deep reading, and math abilities are exceptional. It is an incredible privilege to watch Vivian grow.”
Antonio Wadsworth is a senior at Arapahoe High School and is being recognized for displaying the Portrait of a Graduate attributes of Character and Risk Taking. Antonio demonstrated both of these when he took action to intervene in a bullying situation. As administrators were watching cell phone video as part of an investigation, they saw one student harassing and pushing another student down to the ground and trying to instigate a fight. While some students watched and others filmed with their phones, Antonio happened to walk by, and instead of watching, he intervened and stopped the harassment. This absolutely prevented a much worse situation and sent a clear message to everyone around that it was not okay. LPS students learn about bullying from a young age, but it is always harder than it seems to actually stand up and do something in the moment. Instead of being a bystander, Antonio showed strong character and the willingness to take a risk to do the right thing, and we are extremely proud to recognize him for these actions.