Industrious, conscientious student applauded for intrinsic motivation Nikole Golemba is described as a role model for both academic effort and community spirit at River Valley Academy. Being reasonable, respectful and responsible are among the qualities encouraged at River Valley Academy, and Nicole is known for her strength in all three. Staff there applaud Nikole for her intrinsic motivation as she excels in high school with plans to continue her education at Western Michigan University to study nutrition. Nikole’s grade-point average has been consistently very high and her teachers note her growth in confidence and poise as her academic success continues. Nikole is an industrious and conscientious student who has an excellent attitude. Her academic work is described as “fantastic” and goes above and beyond what is expected. She is a pleasure to be around and has an infectious smile and wonderful personality. She is expected to graduate ahead of schedule and go on to a bright future. In the community, Nikole shows her willingness to make a difference by volunteering her time to the Rockford Community Services seniors group on outings and in child care by reading to younger students. She has worked as a dance instructor through a church group and has rolled up her sleeves to help build a Habitat for Humanity home. Nikole is otherwise active in church-related projects including Angel Ministries and volunteering in nursery. Nikole’s sense of values is also evident at home. She speaks highly of her younger brother and is quick to help the family by taking care of him. For her determination to excel, her caring personality and strong belief in giving back to the community, Nikole is a wonderful Example in Excellence at River Valley Academy.
Examples in Excellence
Many talents and great heart exemplify Patrick Patrick Kolehouse, age 16, is the son of Don and Debie Kolehouse and brother to Rob, Mike and Kristin. When asked to describe Patrick, teachers at Rockford High School call him determined, helpful and showing great initiative. Patrick is motivated and willing to lend a hand, as evidenced by his volunteer work for Red Cross of America and Clark Retirement Center. Patrick is also a volunteer as a camp councilor for middle school students. Patrick has the determination to be the best he can be and put forth the effort at each task he undertakes. Teachers say he is known for his indomitable spirit as well as his willingness to help others reach their goals. A member of the National Honor Society, a National Merit semifinalist and winner of the Theater Award for Outstanding Newcomer, Patrick is a young man of many talents, great heart and has a bright future ahead of him. His hobbies include acting, film-making, reading and writing. Patrick also enjoys playing guitar in his spare time. His favorite classes are government and calculus and he participated in Student Council as well as a three-week German Exchange program with the German Club. When Patrick leaves high school his school of choice is Stanford University. Rockford High School staff is proud to recognize Patrick as an Example in Excellence.
Andrea Kay Kacsits, age 15, is the daughter of John and Susan Kacsits and sister to Olivia and Victoria. She is known at her school as a person of many outstanding gifts. Teachers say Andrea is intelligent and articulate, but also physically gifted and a talented athlete. Her greatest strengths, however, are rooted in her spirit, attitude and heart. Andrea consistently demonstrates her sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others and her compassion and empathy are evident on a daily basis. An outstanding communicator, Andrea is able to put others at ease and comfortably engage peers as well as adults. A natural self-confidence and openness allow her to share her great sense of humor. She is full of life. When other students struggle at class work, Andrea is there to help. She has a sensitive heart to those who are suffering or hurting and is quick to offer support and encouragement. A member of Resurrection Life Church in Rockford, Andrea is active in the church youth group. She is also a strong athlete who balances compassion with her strong competitive nature. It is not unusual to see her express concern and offer help to a member of an opposing team who has been hurt. Andrea is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, a three-time state champion in 14-and-Under AAU basketball, a member of the 2007 national championship AYBT basketball team, a member of the Lakeshore Regional High Performance Volleyball team in 2008, the only freshman member of the Rockford High School varsity women’s volleyball team, athlete of the month for October 2008, Kendall College Gold Key Award winner for artwork in 2007/2008, and on the Principal’s Honor Roll in every year she has been eligible. For her balance of gifted academic and athletic talents and compassionate, caring and giving nature, Andrea Kacsits is a fine Example in Excellence at the Rockford High School Freshman Center.
A kind-hearted person quick to lend a helping hand James Spencer Staley, age 13, is North Rockford Middle School’s Example in Excellence for 2009. Jamie, son of Eric and Caroline Staley and brother to Katherine and Michael, is a kind-hearted person with a polite and positive manner and always quick to lend a helping hand. He is a dedicated, self-motivated, hardworking student who encourages other students to succeed by volunteering in the Northern Lights peer mentoring program. Jamie has been Student of the Month, on the Principal’s Honor Roll, is a member of the National Honor Society and is taking an honors geometry class. Staff at North Rockford Middle School report that Jamie is kind, helpful and encouraging to everyone he meets and is good at balancing the needs of his school work and extracurricular activities, one of which is theater. He has been in several Civic Theater plays and served as an usher and stage hand too. Jamie has also participated in Rockford middle and high school plays, including the lead role in the production of Oliver. In addition to theater, Jamie is on the Grand Rapids Crew Soccer team, plays basketball, and participates on the school track team. Staff describe Jamie as a “refreshing” student who makes the day brighter for those around him and is truly an Example in Excellence at North Rockford Middle School.
Hard-working student makes tasks fun for others Ethan Babcock, age 10, is the son of Dan and Kathy Babcock and brother to Trenten. Ethan is Belmont Elementary’s Example in Excellence because he is a person who always tries to do his best and throws himself whole-heartedly into all of his endeavors. Staff at Belmont say that Ethan shows enthusiasm and perseverance and shares those qualities with others around him. A team-player, Ethan is supportive of fellow athletes on his swim team. He also exhibits compassion and has taken on church projects to help students in Rwanda. Ethan shows his willingness to help others as he volunteers as a lunch helper and mentor to kindergarten students. His teachers describe him as a student who works hard but likes to have a good time along the way. He is also known for his wide variety of interests. A leader, Ethan is president of his fifth-grade class. He is branch manager at the student-run credit union. His relay team took first place in the 10-and-under free relay at State Competition this past spring. Ethan also took ninth place at the summer 2008 Mega Zone meet for ages 10 and under open water event. Included in Ethan’s hobbies are his favorite sports of swimming, water polo, creating with Legos and reading. Ethan is known to spend hours reading a book. A well-rounded individual, Ethan is also involved in his church youth group, Fifty-Six. For his many talents but more importantly his support and encouragement of others, Ethan is an Example in Excellence for peers and staff at Belmont Elementary.