‘Only in Newton’ awards given

By Jim Painter

For the Troy Daily News

PLEASANT HILL — “Only at Newton” is a new recognition program established by Superintendent Pat McBride to bring attention to those showing an improved effort and attitude about themselves and those around them. The purpose is to feature students, educators and classified staff members within the Newton Local School District.

McBride said it is people like those he recognizes that encourage parents to send their children to the Newton district. He said it may be a student helping another with an academic, physical or emotional problem at the school; a teacher showing great interest in their students and activities; or a staff members working in a variety of areas to make the district a success.

Previously, McBride recognized the efforts of an autistic student, his parents, and a special education teacher willing to run with him when he was motivated to join the cross-country team. Another was two high school girls becoming involved in a verbal bullying incident of a younger girl. They separated her from the group and encouraged her that people do care about her well-being.

At a recent board of education meeting, McBride recognized high school students Elyssa Pack and Destiny Huber, Teresa Alexander of food services, and teachers Matt Gaal and Nick Rhoades.

Pack, a freshman, was being recognized for her personal improvement in quick fashion from last school year. He said in part, “Elyssa has improved her effort and attitude which is evident in her grades for the first quarter which were all A’s. Elyssa has become an example for all other students and has earned great respect from her peers and from the staff.

Huber, a sophomore, has a personality McBride wished all students had.

He said in part, “Because of Destiny’s pleasant personality and genuine kindness for others, she is often the most popular person among classmates and staff. On any given day, no matter what is happening, anyone crossing her daily path can count on a big smile and a friendly word. Her attitude, leadership, and genuine concern and love for others is in keeping with the highest ideals of Newton School.”

Alexander was noted for her hard work in leading the food services department. The longtime employee was touted for her efforts to maintain high nutritional standards, economically keeping the cafeteria solvent, and improving the food offerings. McBride also mentioned her leadership skills in assembling a good working relationship.

Band director Matt Gaal was recognized for his efforts to lead the music program. McBride said the band has earned two grand champion awards this year and earned an I rating at the Ohio Music Education Association program. His professional skill and leadership were also noted.

Sixth-grade teacher Nick Rhoades was chosen based on his compassion and concern for his students. McBride noted his work to have a new track installed at the school was paramount in bringing the project together.