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Ridgewood Elementary students focus on good character traits

| January 14, 2013
The most recent set of good character trait award winners at Ridgewood Elementary were: Blaine Hostetler, kindergarten; Shawntae Smith, third grade; Kelsey Jenson, third grade; Chloe Thornsburg, first grade; and Gavin Shriver, preschool (not pictured). Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

The most recent set of good character trait award winners at Ridgewood Elementary were: Blaine Hostetler, kindergarten; Shawntae Smith, third grade; Kelsey Jenson, third grade; Chloe Thornsburg, first grade; and Gavin Shriver, preschool (not pictured). Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

WEST LAFAYETTE – An idea of Ann Curry’s to honor those who were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. spread across the nation and into the hearts of students and staff at Ridgewood Elementary.

“It seemed like a good way to honor the souls of those lost,” said Tina Stoffer, Elementary Title I Remedial Reading Teacher. “We tried to be as kind as we could to each other and remember to say please and thank you all week.”

The week of kindness was wrapped up Friday with an all white party. The halls were decorated with snowflakes and students and staff were invited to dress in white. The staff also brought in white foods to share with their fellow employees.

“Things like oranges have been showing up in your mailbox, kids are holding doors for each other and the students also are doing little things to be helpful in the classrooms,” Stoffer said. “Being kind has been real contagious and it’s been neat to find something someone did.”

The week also helped the school further focus on its program of teaching good character traits.

“A student can be nominated by teachers and other staff members if they are demonstrating those traits,” said Leslie Dulgar, the guidance counselor. “The student’s names go into a bucket for Mr. Rentsch to randomly draw several throughout that month. Each student receives a certificate, t-shirt and a character trait bookmark. Our goal is to curb bullying issues by focusing and encouraging students to exhibit positive behaviors.”

The last set of winners were: Blaine Hostetler, kindergarten; Shawntae Smith, third grade; Kelsey Jenson, third grade; Chloe Thornsburg, first grade; and Gavin Shriver, preschool.

“We’ve recognized about 20 kids and we’ve seen a decrease in our bullying and disciple problems,” said Brian Rentsch, the school principal.

The good traits the students will work on for the rest of the year are: Perseverance – January; Kindness (Caring) – February; Fairness – March; Compassion – April; and Citizenship – May.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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