(Pocatello/Chubbuck SD25 Press Release, November 16, 2023; Cover Image credit: SD25 FB)

POCATELLO – Congratulations to Bennett Johnson, a 3rd grade learner attending Wilcox Elementary, and Joshua Morrissey, a 7th grade learner attending Alameda Middle School, who were chosen as the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 November C.A.K.E. award recipients. C.A.K.E. stands for Character, Attitude, Kindness and Encouragement.

Bennett was nominated by his teacher, Ms. Kathryn Crandall. In her nomination letter, Ms. Crandall wrote, “I want to nominate Bennett Johnson for the CAKE award because of his kindness towards me and those in the classroom and school. He is willing to help and serve anyone. He walks into my classroom at the beginning of the day with a happy attitude and a smile on his face and leaves with that same smile. At the beginning of the school year, we talked about the difference between growth and fixed mindset. Bennett is always good about thinking and acting with a growth mindset. I appreciate when he helps his classmates focus on their growth mindset. I feel like Bennett is a good example to me and his classmates of one who shows good character, attitude, kindness and encouragement.”

Joshua was nominated by his teacher, Ms. Lyndsey Matthews. In her nomination letter, Ms. Matthews wrote, “I have had the pleasure of teaching Josh for two years now in both ELA and Creative Writing. Teaching Josh is similar to having another adult in the room. He is respectful, responsible, mature, and compassionate. Josh is always on task and completes his assignments with the utmost care and attention. He is a talented writer and musician, and he is adept at mathematics and science. Whenever Josh notices other students struggling, either to pay attention or to understand an assignment, Josh kindly redirects them or offers them help. I have watched Josh connect with students of various backgrounds, grades, and skill-sets in a positive manner. Just this trimester in a flex, I have watched Josh really set an example and help improve the efforts and behaviors of several sixth and seventh grade peers- sometimes with something as simple as saying their name with a smile. Josh can joke with them and have fun, but can still get them back on task, as well as improve their respect of the content and classroom. Josh is genuinely and comfortably himself, and he has a way of connecting with anyone in his area in a positive manner. Recently, a student tried to complain about the strictness of a teacher and class. Before I could even intervene, I saw Josh turn around and kindly question, “Is that really the case or have you been irresponsible?” The student paused and then responded, “You’re right. I need to do better.” It was peculiarly wonderful to witness, but it is just one example of Josh’s unique character and example in our school. When I asked my administration if I could nominate Josh, they both responded, “Of course! He is awesome!” To know and to teach Josh is to appreciate him. Josh is truly a wonder in and out of the classroom.”

Bennett and Joshua were recognized at the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. McDonald’s provides each learner and their nominators with a gift card, along with $50 to purchase books for the school’s media center in the recipients’ names.

PCSD 25 believes a safe, supportive, caring and respectful environment is critical to student learning. The District Education Foundation, in partnership with McDonald’s, supports the Learner-of-the-Month C.A.K.E. Award to recognize students who show great character. The district recognizes one elementary learner and one secondary learner from October through May. Nominations for the C.A.K.E. Award are submitted by a teacher who has observed the nominee’s behavior, and are approved by the school’s principal.

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