Snoqualmie Valley School District

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Fifth Graders Recognized for Exemplary Kindness

The Snoqualmie Valley Kiwanis organization sponsors a Kindness Contest each year to recognize 5th grade students for exemplary acts of kindness. This spring, Kiwanis asked 5th grade teachers to nominate students for their thoughtfulness and compassion for others. In a surprise visit from a Kiwanis representative to their classrooms, each of the following students was presented a 2017 Kindness Award and a check for $50. Congratulations to (listed alphabetically):
  • Violet Baerman from Ms. Gardunia’s class at North Bend Elementary
  • Lainey Disch from Ms. Macvean at Fall City Elementary 
  • Cassie Koukel from Ms. Engdahl’s class at Opstad Elementary 
  • Mallory Osborne and Matthew Smith from Ms. Smith's class at Snoqualmie Elementary
  • Tanner Stokes from Ms. Vande Kamp’s class at Timber Ridge Elementary
Below are photos of the students celebrating with their teacher, along with the nomination story each teacher submitted about their student’s commendable qualities and kind actions toward others.
NBES Kindness Award winner
Violet Baerman with NBES Teacher Julie Gardunia

“I know a North Bend Elementary student who is kind to everyone, Violet Baerman. If she sees someone who needs help, she is right there to help them. She has volunteered to help with Kindergarten and First Grade Bus Buddies, Peer Mediation, and P.E. Leadership - which involves playing games with our specialty students during Friday recess. Violet took a lead role in helping with the NBE Fifth Grade Valentine’s Fundraiser by creating 45 beautifully decorated Valentines and using her time to promote and sell them at the Valentine’s table during lunchtime. On February, 17, 2017, National Random Acts of Kindness Day, Violet and a classmate wrote kind thoughts and uplifting messages on post-it notes and posted them throughout the school. Comments from staff members regarding this gesture included: “Thank you... I found one of the notes and it made me smile that such a giving message was being shared!” and “Loved the note on my door! Thank you!” I believe Violet shows kindness in everything she does!” – Ms. Gardunia
 FCES Kindness Award winner
Lainey Disch with FCES Teacher Meredith Macvean
Lainey Disch is a student that always shows kindness to her peers; in addition, she has done something recently which sticks out in my mind. In our classroom, we have a Kindness Campaign, where students can recognize one another for showing kindness towards others. One of Lainey's peers recognized her for showing kindness on the bus when a younger student was being picked on by another student. Lainey stood up for the student who was being picked on, telling others to stop treating them poorly. At this age, peer pressure is beginning to become a reality of my students' lives, making doing the right thing difficult from time to time. It warms my heart to know there are students like Lainey out there who are willing to stand up and speak out when things don't seem right.” – Ms. Macvean
OES Kindness Award winner
Cassie Koukel with OES Teacher Jennifer Engdahl
Cassie Koukel is a gem, an absolute jewel of kindness, when it comes to looking out for her classmates’ well-being. She especially keeps her eyes out for those underdogs who need a kind word or a pat on the back. She advocates for others in a quiet, discreet, but confident way that has impressed those of us who work with her. One example recently happened when she noticed a friend feeling a bit down and isolated. Cassie made a card for her classmates to sign to rally this girl’s spirits. Cassie wants all of her classmates to feel included and understood. That is why she goes the extra mile to get to know kids that others may bypass!” – Ms. Engdahl
SES Kindness Award winners
Mallory Osborne and Matthew Smith with SES Teacher Heidi Smith
“The first student I’d like to nominate is Matthew Smith. (He is not related to me.) Matthew exemplifies kindness by his thoughtful attitude and his gracious ways. He is amazing at math and he is willing to help others when they are struggling with math. Matthew has a great attitude about life! He looks at the positive and his actions toward others are always with the attitude that kindness is important and others matter. Matthew organizes others in class to help those in need or those who are struggling. Matthew's wit and generosity make him stand out to others. He is such a unique and gentle soul. Matthew is a kind-hearted young man.” – Ms. Smith

“The other student I believe exemplifies kindness is Mallory Osborne. Mallory works hard at solving problems in class. Mallory excels in kindness by showing empathy to those in pain and compassion to those in need. Mallory exemplifies kindness by listening to others and offering support and guidance. Mallory is a caring and kind friend to others on the playground by including them in games and in the classroom by always including others in her group. Mallory's kind heart and beautiful soul make her an extraordinary student and someone who truly knows the power of kindness and lives it every day.” – Ms. Smith
TRES Kindness Award winner
Tanner Stokes with TRES Teacher Veronica Vande Kamp
“I would like to nominate Tanner Stokes for the Kiwanis Kindness Contest. Tanner conveys kindness and patience in every way. He is friendly to everyone he meets; he reaches out to classmates who need help; he participates in P.E. Leadership to help other students with disabilities; he volunteers to be a friend to anyone new in the school; he treats his Kinder buddy with care and patience; and he is always positive and working hard. Tanner exhibits the Timber Ridge To Do’s: be respectful, be responsible, and make safe choices on a daily basis. Tanner is a kind and caring soul and he’s funny and sweet to boot! I am proud of Tanner and I believe he deserves to be acknowledged for the kindness, friendship, and constant care that he pours out on others.” – Ms. Vande Kamp