December 2022 Employee and Students of the Month

On December 13, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the December 2022 Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting. Congratulations to all of this month’s honorees! 

Early Learning Center – Saphira Zimmerman, Pre-K

Saphira is a very social Hash Brown and she exhibits kindness to everyone at the Early Learning Center. She helps her friends when they are having a hard time and encourages them to smile and have fun. You know she enjoys music and movement by the way she is constantly moving, dancing and encouraging others to follow along with the song. We love her energy and excitement for learning and helping others here at the ELC. One of Saphira’s teachers said "She brightens up our classroom and is a wonderful addition to our class. She makes all her friends around her better." 



Wisdom Ridge Academy – Josephine Clinton, Kindergarten

Josephine “Josie” Clinton enjoys the ability to go at her own pace at Wisdom Ridge Academy and also enjoys being able to work alongside her mother. She is a persevering student who is focused and driven to do her best. 

Josie’s teacher had this to say about her, "I have never met a kindergartener who is more dedicated to her studies! Josephine impressed me before we even started the school year with her eagerness to dive into her coursework. She demonstrates intrinsic pride and ownership in her learning which is so exciting to see in such a young student! Josephine has been doing an outstanding job in the pacing of her courses and demonstrates a high-level of integrity on her assignments. I feel honored to work with her and I am in awe of how well she has taken to our program here at Wisdom Ridge Academy."

Outside of school, Josie's interests are gymnastics, playing with her brother, sister, and cousins, arts and crafts, going on hikes, Disneyland, and candy. As a five-year-old with all of the life experiences that a five-year-old has had, Josie hopes to be either a singer, an actress, or a YouTuber when she grows up. Whatever path Josie chooses, with the solid foundation she is laying, she is already a success and WRA is proud to have her as a student. 

South Ridge Elementary School – Ava Sowle, 1st Grade

Ava arrives in her classroom excited and eager to learn each day. She brings joy and happiness to everyone she encounters on the bus, playground and in school. This school year Ava has exemplified Roadrunner resilient behavior while learning at school. Even when tasks are challenging, Ava is learning how to persevere with a positive attitude. She has made many friends in our classroom and is always ready to share a smile, hug, or kind word with everyone. We are so proud of Ava and her learning success in our classroom! Thank you, Ava for learning with us each day at South Ridge.

Union Ridge Elementary School – Hayden McLaughlin, 4th Grade

Hayden McLaughlin is a student who has shown steady perseverance over the past few years and continually impresses Union Ridge staff with his overall growth at school. Hayden is often thinking of others and is always offering his support to his peers. He is a positive role model in class and can be counted on to follow expectations and overcome obstacles. When he encounters academic struggles, Hayden pushes through with a positive attitude and does not give up. He has made significant progress and continues to set goals and challenge himself. Hayden is a wonderful student and always brightens up the classroom. We are proud of Hayden and are inspired by his overall determination to succeed. 


Sunset Ridge Intermediate School – Padraig Herron, 5th Grade

Padraig Herron is very determined in Sunset Ridge’s WIN class to better himself and others around him. He comes prepared for class with all the tools needed. He loves being a peer teacher when asked to help others in class. This willingness to help even extends to lunch when he is always willing to help our custodian wipe the tables. Padraig loves to sit with new people and make them comfortable in their new school. He represents Sunset in the most positive ways and is the very best kind of Coyote. Thank you, Paddy for all you do.



View Ridge Middle School – Grady Cornelius, 8th Grade

Some of the words View Ridge teachers used to describe Grady are kind and hardworking. Grady loves to take on challenges, he often asks what he can do to help his teachers, and does things like taking down all the chairs in the classroom before class in the morning. View Ridge Middle School Herons strive to be Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient. Grady is a wonderful example to all of our View Ridge students and truly leads the way with his actions and academics!

Grady’s science teacher said it well: “Grady is a one of a kind student!” Another teacher put it this way, “Grady is an outstanding View Ridge Heron. He is continuously putting the 3 ‘R’s into motion. His Respectful attitude has his classmates flocking to work with him. He is Responsible with his academics by asking productive questions to help move learning forward. He also shows Resilience with self-control to complete class activities first and socialize later. He models great Heron spirit for Ridgefield School District!” 

Ridgefield High School – Jonah McComb

Jonah was overwhelmingly chosen by the staff for his compassion, upbeat personality, and ability to overcome adversity. If there is someone in need, Jonah is the first to offer help, setting a positive example for others to follow. Jonah treats his peers and teachers with respect and he gives his all in the classroom and on the field. From struggling to pass classes his freshman year to almost all A’s last year, Jonah is a true testament for hard work and perseverance. Two teachers that have made a lasting impact on Jonah are Mrs. Gardner and Mrs. Sheley. Jonah points to their caring nature, ability to relate to students, and willingness to help with school and life as their strongest attributes. Additionally, Jonah thinks his most lasting memories of his time at the high school will be the teachers and staff, and their unwavering commitment to students. But the one constant in Jonah’s life the past few years has been Nicole Bartroff. Jonah attributes much of his success in school and in life to Nicole and her caring heart and willingness to welcome him into her family, providing the stability he craved. Her encouragement has also given him the drive to enlist in the Marines. Jonah will leave for San Diego to serve his country next August

Employee of the Month – Chase Tornow, Technology Department

The staff at Wisdom Ridge Academy are grateful to the entire tech department for all of their help in opening a new school, and are especially grateful to Chase for all of his help and hard work to ensure Wisdom Ridge has all of the needed technical support to make an online school successful. Chase is pleasant to work with, knowledgeable, helpful, and always willing to ensure staff success, which then maximizes student success. One staff member calls Chase a hero because he is always fixing everything. Other staff members say of Chase: “He never talks down to us despite our ignorance.” “He has wicked good taste in music and a great sense of humor. He’s a guy I can engage with in a conversation,” and, finally, “He makes me feel like I am his priority.” Chase reflects a strong tech department, and we appreciate everything he does for our school and our district.