Cruden, optimist, faces adversity with confidence, compassion

Rachel Cruden, 10, is the daughter of John and Lisa Cruden and sister to Andy, 9, and Hannah, 7, and has been named as one of the “Examples in Excellence” for 2010 through Rockford Public Schools.

Rachel Cruden 10, has recently been named as one of Rockford Public Schools' "Examples in Excellence" for 2010. Photo by DOUGLAS PHOTOGRAPHY.

This hardworking student is committed to accomplishing her goals and is helpful to her teachers, her classmates and at home. Staff at Parkside Elementary say that Rachel often goes out of her way to help and mentor others. She is described as courageous and helps her peers believe in their own abilities. Rachel is also known for her responsibility and respect for others.

Among Rachel’s accomplishments are her participation in Odyssey of the Mind and her church outreach program where she helps distribute food at St. Stephen Lutheran Church’s pantry. She was the top speller in her fourth-grade spelling bee and is involved in Girl Scouts.

Rachel is a problem-solver, and doesn’t take the easy route in life. She pushes herself to be the best she can be and her attitude is contagious to those around her. This year Rachel had open heart surgery, and while in the hospital she made friends with her roommate, a friendship she still maintains. Rachel is interested in music, gymnastics, reading and writing and has had her work published. She would like to be an author someday. Teachers and staff recognize the tenacious spirit of this student who is not afraid to take a stand for what she knows is right.

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