WCS names elementary school Kathy Swan winners

Wabash City Schools' elementary school Kathy Swan Award winners included (front row, from left), Aaliyah Samons, Randy Boring, Kaylyn Woodcock, Michaella Cohee and Waylon Cressell. Joining the winners are school board members (second row, from left) Tony Pulley, Liz Hobbs, Rod Kelsheimer, Bill Konyha and Tiffani King. Photo by Josh Sigler

By Josh Sigler

Wabash City Schools officials named its elementary school Kathy Swan Award winners at the Monday, May, 7 school board meeting.

Teachers presented the awards to students in kindergarten through fourth grade Monday, with teachers giving a glimpse into what made each student worthy of the accolade.
Swan was a Wabash City Schools teacher who was tragically lost in 2005 in a plane crash that also claimed her husband and son.

“She was dedicated to her students. She loved kids,” Superintendent Jason Callahan said. “She had a heart for kids. The board wanted to do something in Kathy’s memory. She was such a champion for kids, they wanted something that would live on. So, because of Kathy’s dedication to students, they created this Kathy Swan Award.

“The Kathy Swan Award is given every year to a student in very grade level,” Callahan continued. “That award is given to students who epitomize, who live up to Kathy’s ideals. These are kids who work very hard. They are kids who have a great attitude. They do it without looking for recognition.

“We love the Kathy Swan Award because it is an award given by staff. Our teachers every year come together, and there’s not an application process. The kids don’t know they’re getting this. The teachers select based on the great attributes of your children.”

Kaylyn Woodcock took home the Kindergarten Kathy Swan Award, with teacher Carol Enyeart giving the audience a glimpse into what makes Woodcock a worthy student.

“Kaylyn Wodcock is one of those students who is just a joy to teach and be around,” Enyeart said. “… I appreciate so much about her. She is kind to all students. She works hard and does her best. I appreciate that no matter what kind of day she is having, she comes into the room with a smile on her face. Her upbeat personality and friendly spirit makes Kaylyn a perfect candidate for the Kathy Swan Award. I feel blessed knowing her.”

Teacher Kristi Clark had the honor of delivering the Kathy Swan Award to first-grader Aaliyah Samons, explaining that Aaliyah goes “above and beyond” the call as a student.

“Aaliyah is someone who always comes in with a smile on her face,” Clark said. “She always has positive attitude towards school. She always has a helping desire to not only help me, but her friends when she sees they are struggling a little bit. I knew Kathy, and she always had that smile on her face. Aaliyah does too. Aaliyah has worked very hard this year academically. She desires to do her best. And, if she doesn’t understand something, she’ll come and ask, because she wants to better herself. When she works, she takes her time. She goes above and beyond, especially with her details, whether it’s her handwriting or math story problems. … Aaliyah has a great heart, and I know she’s going to do great things in the future.”

Michaella Cohee was the second grade honoree, with teacher Kathy Wilson delivering remarks on why Cohee was the best candidate.

“Michaella is a joy to have in class,” Wilson said. “We all agree that every day she comes in with a smile and a positive attitude. She enjoys learning and working with her peers. She’s an ideal student. She’s attentive during instructions and she knows when to ask questions when she doesn’t understand something. She’s very encouraging to her peers. She puts forth her best effort every day. She gets along with her peers and has a contagious smile. She’s grown tremendously in reading and math. We’re very very proud of her for the last two years. It’s our honor to honor you with the Kathy Swan Award.”

Randy Boring emerged as the top candidate for the third grade award, with teacher Jen Lane honoring Boring with glowing remarks.

“The definition of integrity is doing what is right and having good morals, even when no one is watching,” Lane said. “I can’t think of a more perfect word to describe Randy. Although he is quiet, his actions in the classroom speak very loudly. He has a kind, compassionate heart. At a recent field trip, instead of sitting with his friends, he went and sat with a classmate who was sitting all by himself. That compassion that he showed to that student is the same compassion he shows to everybody everyday in our classroom. Randy also strives to do his best in class. He has shown tremendous growth throughout the school year in every subject area. He pushes himself to not only meet his goals, but to exceed them as well. No matter what life throws at Randy, he chooses to rise above and come to school with a positive attitude and be a leader in the classroom.”

Tammy France had the privilege to award Waylon Cressell with the fourth grade Kathy Swan honor, giving the audience a glimpse into why he is a deserving candidate.

“Waylon has heart of gold,” France said. “He genuinely cares for everyone else, and puts others’ needs in front of his own. Waylon would give you anything if he thought you needed it more than he did. He always thinks of others first. We see this in class every single day. If someone doesn’t have a snack, he’s there to offer his. If someone needs a book to read, he’s there to share his. If someone is sad, he’s there to comfort them. He offers to help his classmates and teachers all the time. Waylon is a good person and makes good decisions. He’s also responsible. He comes to school and gives his best every single day. … He strives to meet the challenges his teachers give him. We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Waylon this year. As a person and a student, he touches many lives every day. He touches our lives every single day, and doesn’t even know he does it.”

Posted on 2018 May 15