Last week, at its regular board meeting, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the Employee and Students of the Month for April.
Niyonzima Jean De Dieu, a sophomore, was named Student of the Month at Ridgefield High School.
“With great privilege, Ridgefield High School announces Niyonzima Jean De Dieu as our April Student of the Month,” teachers and staff wrote of him. “Niyo was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. When he was 12 years old, his village was attacked and Niyo, along with others, was captured by his attackers and held for two weeks. He was freed by his government and sent to Kenya along with other refugees to live with a family. During his two years in Kenya, Niyo filled out paperwork requesting placement for refugees, not knowing where in the world he might be placed, or if he would be placed. During the two-week period in 2017 when the U.S. ban on refugees was lifted, Niyo was placed in Ridgefield and enrolled in Ridgefield High School on March 2, 2017. To say that Niyo demonstrates resiliency is an understatement. But more than that, Niyo is a student who is a positive influence on our entire campus. He gives his best at all times, has learned the English language in the one year and one month he’s been here (and is studying French at Ridgefield High School just to make things more challenging). He is an incredibly hard-working student and is always willing to help others. He is dedicated to his education and runs on the school’s cross country and track teams as well as sings in the advanced choir.”
Dylan Benavidez, a fourth grader, was named Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.
“Dylan Benavidez is a wonderful young man,” teachers and staff wrote of him in the release. “We are incredibly proud and honored to be working with him this year. From the first day, he has been a model student in the classroom. He has the most amazing work ethic. There hasn’t been a time where he gives up, no matter what is thrown at him. It is also wonderful to see him work with his peers. The patience this young man possesses is admirable, and he demonstrates caring and compassion for his classmates. He never balks at his share of work and will tirelessly help his partners if they are having trouble. When the going gets tough, he never quits and works until he gets through it. Dylan is solid, steady, and a true representation of a South Ridge Roadrunner.”
Deven Hausinger-Barbo, a fourth grader, was named Student of the Month at Union Ridge Elementary.
“Deven is a hard-working student who is patient and caring,” teachers and staff wrote of him. “The ROCKS expectations come naturally to him. He is always respectful and shows ownership. He works hard to improve his community by being kind, and always safe. Union Ridge is lucky to have Deven’s friendly face smiling throughout our building. Deven is a great friend to his peers and a wonderful role model in class. We are proud of Deven’s hard work and delighted to nominate him as Student of the Month.”
Maleah Heng, an eighth grader, was named Student of the Month at View Ridge Middle School.
“Maleah is an amazing student and role model,” teachers and staff wrote of her. “She is always full of enthusiasm when it comes to learning. Her positive can do attitude makes her a valuable contributor to every classroom she is part of. She passionately shares comments and insightful thoughts in classroom discussions. Her excitement for learning shines through in her eagerness to help her peers reach understanding. She is always open to challenges and never hesitates to ask questions and risk mistakes. Maleah works meticulously on every task presented, setting an example for all her classmates. She is often first to step forward with a new idea and frequently explores new ways to tackle concepts she has already mastered. View Ridge is lucky to have Maleah, and we look forward to her future accomplishments! Congratulations, Maleah, at being Student of the Month.”
Denise Krause was named Employee of the Month.
“Denise manages View Ridge Middle School, simply put. She makes sure that all who enter our doors feel safe, supported and is successful. She is a Spudder, born and raised, and serves View Ridge and our community with great pride,” the district said in a release.