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November is a month to reflect on thankfulness, and at this month's board meeting, the Weber School District was honored to express our gratitude and thankfulness to five very deserving award winners. Roosevelt Elementary's 4th grade team was nominated for the E+ Team ward by Principal Justin Skeen. Additionally, Mr. Harold Chapman was nominated for the Volunteerism Award by Principal Phil Nestoryak of North Ogden Elementary. 

Brittany Ryan, Katie Hill, Shannon Nielson, and Tracie Davies are the talented and dedicated ladies who comprise the Roosevelt Elementary 4th Grade teaching team. Mr. Skeen nominated the team because he believes that they "exemplify embracing a process of consistent application of research-based strategies for creating a unified approach to teaching and learning." Essentially, the faculty and administration at Roosevelt Elementary believe in collaborating as teaching professionals to plan and apply learning strategies consistently at all grade levels to ensure student success. Each week during PLC meetings, the 4th grade team actively participate and communicate in implementing learning strategies. Most importantly, they utilize one another's strengths for greater impact on student learning. An indicator of the dedication of this team is the approach they have taken to improve math instruction. Focusing on individual student needs by routinely assessing their comprehension, focusing on weak areas, and encouraging the kids to keep trying resulted in a 20% increase in summative proficiency the first year alone. Mr. Skeen stated, "Each teacher's commitment level for student success extends beyond their classroom to the entire grade. Each teacher takes on a unique ownership of individual student progress."

As an Americorps volunteer, Mr. Harold Chapman donates his time twice a week to help mentor young children who are struggling with their reading ability. Marci Thomas, North Ogden Elementary Americorps Coordinator stated that, "the students Harold works with always form a special bond with Harold and he can make even the most timid student feel comfortable." At 94 years of age, Mr. Chapman "radiates cheerfulness and happiness". As a father and grandfather, he has the patience and love to allow children to take risks without fear. They know that no matter what, Mr. Chapman will gently encourage and praise them as they gain skill in their reading ability. Mr. Phil Nestoryak nominated Mr. Chapman for the Volunteerism Award for his exemplary dedication to North Ogden Elementary. One year after a particularly hard hitting wind storm in the North Ogden community, a large tree fell upon Mr. Chapman's garage roof, causing considerable damage. While most people would stay home to take care of the situation, Harold chose instead to report for duty at the school as he knew the children were depending on him. Mr. Nestoryak wrote, "True service is looking beyond personal needs and helping others." He went on to say, "The North Ogden Eagles have a true hero volunteering at our school who is a positive influence and a great asset not only to our reading program, but to our school as a whole."

Congratulations to these deserving award winners. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to recognize your unique gifts and talents. We express our gratitude for your dedication and enthusiasm!

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