Big Piney Students honored for excellence

Robert Galbreath photo The SCSD9 Students of the Month recognized at the Jan. 17 Board of Trustees meeting includes, from left, Ayame Conway, Big Piney High School, Phoebe Jones, Big Piney Middle School, Sara Bright, LaBarge Elementary School and Joyce Delgado, Big Piney Elementary School.

BIG PINEY – Sublette County School District No. 9 Board of Trustees Chairman Alan Vickrey congratulated the Students of the Month at the Jan. 17 board meeting.

“Earning the Student of the Month award is one of the highest forms of achievement in the district,” Vickrey said.

The Students of the Month embody the district values and act as “leaders in the classroom and at their schools,” Vickrey added.

The district estimated that only 7 or 8 percent of students who pass through the district’s schools receive the Student of the Month award, Vickrey noted, representing the “cream of the crop.”

Art teacher Matthew Guenthner presented LaBarge Elementary School fifth-grader Sara Bright as the January Student of the Month.

Bright exhibits respect, integrity and empathy each day, Guenthner told trustees.

“Sara is kind, she is grateful and she encourages other students,” he said. “She always has a smile on her face and is willing to help others.”

Guenthner highlighted Bright’s artistic abilities.

He remarked that if he left Bright in the room with “a bucket of paint, brushes, glue and 10 containers of glitter,” the board room “would never be the same.”

Bright is a student “who sees possibilities and no limitations,” Guenthner said.

Bailey Headrick, Bright’s classroom teacher, described the fifth-grader as a “sweet girl” with a “huge heart.”

“Sara is very kind, loving and has a great personality and is not scared to be herself,” Headrick wrote to the trustees. “She always puts a smile on her face and is pleasant to be around.”

P.E. teacher Jess Nugent praised Bright’s respectful demeanor and positive attitude.

“Sara always makes sure to tell other students, ‘Good game!’ even if her team has lost,” Nugent added.

Bright is “full of life” and “her smile warms the room,” said band teacher Travis Swanson.

Choir teacher Angela Swanson agreed.

“Sara tries hard in music and has a very sweet personality,” she wrote.

Big Piney Elementary teacher Megan Kershner recognized Joyce Delgado as the Student of the Month for January.

Delgado is an outstanding student who models integrity on a daily basis, Kershner said.

“Integrity is a hard word for a second-grader to understand, but I know Joyce understands the concept,” Kershner added. “Sometimes it’s hard to do what you are supposed to do when no one is looking, but I know that Joyce is always on task and she is always encouraging others to be on task.”

Delgado “goes above and beyond” when it comes to honesty, dependability and responsibility while “pushing herself to show excellence,” Kershner stated.

When Kershner introduces a difficult or new concept in the classroom, Delgado is one of the first students to raise her hand and ask questions to make sure that she is giving each lesson “her very, very best” effort.

Delgado courageously stepped out of her comfort zone to speak up in classroom conversation exercises, Kershner said.

“Joyce worked really hard to participate, listen and ask questions,” Kershner remarked. “She makes our classroom community stronger every day.”

Big Piney Middle School Principal Tyler Walker introduced seventh-grader Phoebe Jones as the January Student of the Month.

Social studies teacher Mike Davis nominated Jones for the award “as an individual who demonstrates great integrity in our school,” Walker told trustees.

“I honestly can’t think of somebody more deserving of this award,” Walker added. “Phoebe is a true example of what to do when no one is watching. She always does the right thing. I’m very excited she was able to achieve this honor.”

Davis called teaching Jones in his geography class a “distinct pleasure.”

“In the span of just one academic semester, Ms. Jones has astonished me with her acumen for geography,” Davis wrote. “Phoebe has consistently completed the required coursework at a very high level. In addition, she has tackled all the enrichment assignments. Her eagerness to delve into and analyze cause-and-effect relationships is unmatched.”

Jones “excels” when it comes to exemplifying the district’s six core values, Davis said.

“She steps up to meet and exceed all challenges confronting her,” Davis explained. “She routinely acts with compassion towards others. Without prompting, she can be seen helping other students around her. I sincerely applaud all of her efforts and am proud to have nominated her for this distinguished award.”

Big Piney High School (BPHS) senior Ayame Conway received the December Student of the Month award from teacher Sam Slagowski.

“Ayame was selected because of her tremendous growth throughout her school career,” Slagowski told trustees.

Social studies teacher Laura Ure spoke about Conway’s respectful manner and added, “Ayame is a kind human.”

Principal Jeff Makelky commended Conway for demonstrating “tremendous improvement in her ability to handle the academic responsibilities of high school.”

Conway possesses the integrity to “prioritize her schoolwork and do what she is supposed to do in class,” noted culinary arts teacher Jennie Kozeal.

P.E. teacher Brian Willford highlighted Conway’s empathy and desire to help others.

McKenzie Sullivan, science teacher at BPHS, recognized the “courage that it takes to overcome the obstacles Ayame has faced to begin to advocate for herself, grow in her confidence and responsibility and achieve her goals.”

Conway strives for excellence in the classroom, said English teacher Cat Bauer.

“Ayame brings a good work ethic to English class,” Bauer wrote. “She comes prepared and works diligently. She does her best to understand the material on a deep level. We know that Ayame will continue to grow after high school.”

Conway was accepted to attend Chadron State College in Nebraska this fall.

“We are all very proud of Ayame,” Slagowski said.