Final Students of the Month honored for 2020-21 year


PINEDALE – The Sublette County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees recognized the final Students of the Month for the 2020-2021 academic year at its June 17 meeting.

Pinedale Elementary School teachers Sherrill Hudson and Heather Kamp nominated fifth-grader Naomi Gaffney as Student of the Month.

Gaffney defines dedication and consistently hands in quality work, “accepting nothing less than her very best,” Hudson and Kamp wrote to the board. Gaffney encourages teammates to succeed during group work and takes time outside the classroom to go above and beyond on assignments.

“Naomi even joined one of her groups via Zoom while she was on a trip because she is that passionate about her learning,” said Hudson and Kamp. “Naomi’s work ethic and commitment to excellence is outstanding.”

Gaffney’s teachers described the fifth-grader as an “inquisitive learner” who is willing to ask questions and delve into a topic.

“Naomi often thinks in terms of humanity, making her a compassionate and empathetic learner as well,” Hudson and Kamp stated.

A natural leader in the classroom, Gaffney is inclusive, patient and willing to learn from others, her teachers said. Gaffney is open to different opinions and new ideas and strives to find a compromise while “staying true to herself,” Hudson and Kamp added.

“She has the courage of her convictions and the fortitude to withstand peer pressure, which is not an easy feat at any age,” Hudson and Kamp said.

Pinedale Middle School social studies teacher Mitch Irrgang honored seventh-grader Claire Thonhoff as Student of the Month for exhibiting a growth mindset.

“I must start with the fact that Claire is also one of the most polite and respectful young individuals I have witnessed come through this school during my 19 years here at Pinedale Middle School,” Irrgang wrote.

Thonhoff enters the classroom with a “positive and upbeat attitude,” Irrgang added. He also highlighted Thonhoff’s ability to approach adults and students with maturity.

Academically, Thonhoff is a conscientious student who stays on top of assignments and works to improve, Irrgang said.

“Claire is a reliable student who will come in after school on her own accord and ask intelligent questions in order to better grasp the objectives, expectations or just complete her understanding,” Irrgang wrote. “This growth mindset exhibited by Claire has been a year-long endeavor and I have enjoyed witnessing her inquisitive nature, which is the driving force behind her desire to achieve and understand.”

Skyline Academy teacher Holli Redmond recognized sophomore Tucker Watson as Student of the Month. Redmond chose Watson for demonstrating the quality of respect.

“Daily, Tucker consistently has shown respect to faculty, other students and himself,” Redmond wrote. “He has provided a positive example for others to follow.”

Redmond described Watson as a “fun, humorous and energetic student.”

“He confidently participates in class discussion and has a positive attitude towards gaining his education,” Redmond said.

Watson’s respectful demeanor makes him a leader by example, Redmond added.

“Tucker is kind, courteous and always willing to share a smile,” Redmond stated. “I appreciate the maturity level at which Tucker conducts his conversations and actions. Tucker is a tremendous asset to Skyline Academy.”

Pinedale High School math teacher Christine Zakotnik nominated junior Stephanie Guerrero as Student of the Month. Guerrero exemplifies the character trait of diligence, Zakotnik wrote to the board.

Zakotnik emphasized Guerrero’s exceptional work ethic and ability to juggle a full class workload with an after-school job.

“Very few students work as hard as Stephanie,” Zakotnik added. “She comes in before school to do corrections and retakes as well as ask questions. She consistently completes assignments on time even though there is no penalty when they are late. Stephanie does not give up.”

Principal Brian Brisko stated that Guerrero “helps make PHS a great place to be.”

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