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May 2024 Learner of the Month, C.A.K.E. Recipients

C.A.K.E. Awards May 2024 Congratulations Briar Palmer 1st Grade Tyhee Elementary School and Dayja Schilhabel 12th grade Pocatello High School May Learners of the Month

Congratulations to Briar Palmer, a 1st grade learner attending Tyhee Elementary, and Dayja Schilhabel, a 12th grade learner attending Pocatello High School, who were chosen as the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 May C.A.K.E. award recipients. C.A.K.E. stands for Character, Attitude, Kindness and Encouragement.

Briar was nominated by her teacher, Ms. Sonya Pixton. In her nomination letter, Ms. Pixton wrote, “Briar has been a leader in our class since the first day of school. Briar is kind and respectful to everyone. If another learner is struggling with an assignment she is the first to offer help and give encouragement. If a teacher needs help she is always willing to help - no matter the task. Briar takes on every new learning experience with a positive attitude, and is always willing to try hard things. If someone is sad, Briar is the first to ask what is wrong, and to offer help. Her smile, and positive attitude about learning is contagious with the other learners. Briar is the person that notices if someone is by themselves and is concerned about them, asks if they would like to join her. The best thing about Briar is that she does all of this from the goodness of her heart. No one asks her to do any of these kind things - she does it because it is who she is. She is truly an amazing girl that has made our class and our school better because she is in it. Every class should be so lucky as to have someone like Briar in it.”

Dayja was nominated by teacher Ms. Molly Johnson and Mr. Scott Minor.  In her nomination letter, Ms. Johnson wrote, “Dayja truly is a one-of-a-kind student. I have had the pleasure of being her teacher for the past three years and have observed her mature into a wonderful young adult. She is actively engaged in our school community through student mentorship and peer tutor roles with our most vulnerable population at Pocatello High School. Her kindness and impressive character extend to her participation in all of her classes. Dayja has assumed the role teacher assistant in her English class, actively helping any student that welcomes peer support. Dayja is always aware of students that may not have a friend to eat with or talk to at lunch and makes herself available to engage with those students. Even as a senior in her final trimester of high school, she continues to persevere in her learning and seeks to make significant academic achievements every day. Moreover, Dayja's post-high school goals include achieving a degree in teaching in pursuit of becoming a special education teacher. I am so excited to watch her succeed and continue to serve our Pocatello/Chubbuck community.”

Mr. Minor wrote, “Dayja Schilhabel has been a peer tutor/teacher assistant throughout the school year in my DLP program at Pocatello High School. She told me earlier this year she wanted to be a special education teacher and work with kids with severe special needs. As such, I have given her extra responsibilities and freedoms regarding our "morning routine" in our classroom. I asked her to teach specific behaviors to specific students; making one student fully pronounce his "f"s, another student, Dayja was asked to identify different colors, another student was asked to talk in a softer voice, as well as several others. When I asked Dayja if she understood why I had her doing these things, she mentioned, "’s part of their IEP goals." When I responded, "You want to be a teacher so I am giving you the class to actually teach what they need." With that, she took a more vested interest in the class and her part in it. Dayja asked if she could take over the morning routine powerpoint, which consisted of the date, weather, classroom rules, daily goals, and the daily lunch and breakfast menu. When I gave her that responsibility, she added videos to several pages, she added new pictures to the lunch menu, and she updated the menu daily as well. She also showed the classroom staff how to add links to the videos as well as what web pages she looked on where she was researching. Not only did she take a new interest in the class, she also took a new interest in herself. She would ask what she could do differently in how she presented to the class, where she should stand, how to maintain better eye contact, and tone of her voice. All feedback she took to heart. At one point, the students began to prefer her doing the morning routine as opposed to myself or other staff members. She is again, working in my class, with two other peer tutors and is helping them as well, learn how to work with my students in better and more focused ways .Due to her caring for my students and taking the initiative to go beyond all expectations to my this classroom more enjoyable and engaging, Dayja deserves this award.”

Briar and Dayja were recognized at the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Johnson Family McDonald's provides each learner and their nominators with a gift card, along with $50 to purchase books for the school’s media center in the recipients’ names.

PCSD 25 believes a safe, supportive, caring and respectful environment is critical to student learning. The District Education Foundation, in partnership with the local Johnson Family McDonald’s, supports the Learner-of-the-Month C.A.K.E. Award to recognize students who show great character. The district recognizes one elementary learner and one secondary learner from October through May. Nominations for the C.A.K.E. Award are submitted by a teacher who has observed the nominee’s behavior, and are approved by the school’s principal. 

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