Ridgefield School District honors April employee and students of the month


Employee of the Month

Amber Zirkle, South Ridge Elementary School recess staff

Amber Zirkle is the lead staff member at South Ridge Elementary School who supports all 770 students during recess. She is also the fourth grade leadership advisor. As the advisor, she helps young leaders grow their skills and give back to the community. With her aid, the leadership students recently organized and implemented a canned food drive to benefit the Ridgefield Family Resource Center, a school district press release stated.

Marli Gore, preschool, Early Learning Center

Marli Gore has demonstrated outstanding leadership and learning skills at the Early Learning Center. She has an amazing sense of humor and imagination, which makes her friends smile and laugh each day, the press release stated. She has a passion for creativity, and she has included her friends in reading books, puppet shows and dramatic plays. “Marli has been a great addition to our classroom this year. She is always the first to volunteer to help and the first one to help her peers unprompted. She is smart and eager to ask questions and learn new things. She always sets a great example for others to follow,” Gore’s teacher said.

Jayden Lopez, second grade, South Ridge Elementary School

Jayden Lopez is known for never giving up without trying their very best, asking for help and trying some more. Their teachers praised them for being thoughtful, curious and committed to developing themself into the best person they can be. Lopez often asks about the meaning of words, and those conversations lead to genuine education for all. “Although Jayden shows respect to all and has proven to be as responsible as they can be, it is Jayden’s resilience that really deserves the spotlight,” Lopez’s teacher said.

Everett Simmons, third grade, Union Ridge Elementary School

Everett Simmons continually impresses Union Ridge Elementary School staff with his ability to treat all kids respectfully and kindly. He is eager to help everyone, including his teacher Kari Hall. When Everett recently injured his hand, he played the recorder “like a champion” during music class, his teacher said. He is also known for his art skills. “Everett has a can-do attitude in art. He takes art criticism well and always tries to improve his craft,” his teacher said.

Valeria Cerna-Arias, fifth grade, Sunset Ridge Intermediate School

Valeria Cerna-Arias is a welcoming presence at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School for new students. When new students join the class, she is frequently the first to reach out and invite them to work alongside her, according to her teachers. “She is kind and considerate in all situations and goes out of her way to help others, including guest teacher,” her teacher said. Cerne-Arias has shown special awareness for those whose first language is not English and often attempts to speak to them in Spanish to provide a source of comfort.

Isabelle Brown, eighth grade, View Ridge Middle School

Isabelle Brown embodies the “heron traits” of being respectful, responsible and resilient, according to her teacher. Brown often takes the initiative in her education and always does her best, the press release stated. Brown is particularly known for her hardworking attitude during choir. “Even when another section is being worked with, she practices her part and encourages others to do the same. She leads by example, and her love of what she does shows every day. She is kind and respectful and well deserving of this award,” choir teacher Bobbe Whetsell said.

Drew Myer, 12th grade, Wisdom Ridge Academy

Despite significant challenges with anxiety and social interaction, Drew Myer has achieved significant progress at Wisdom Ridge Academy. Due to his perseverance, Myer has become more capable of knowing when and how to ask for help. His teachers are impressed with his progress and praise him for being a polite and delightful student. Learning to overcome anxiety has been challenging for Myer, and he is proud of his accomplishments, the press release stated. In the future, Myer hopes to pursue a career in the medical field or education. “Drew is an outstanding student who maintains high grades and has a bright future,” his teachers said.

Xander Bredemeyer, 12th grade, Ridgefield High School

Xander Bredemeyer has an exceptional presence at Ridgefield High School, known for embodying the school’s core values of respect, determination, persistence and positivity. He’s known for being helpful to teachers and classmates and having a subtle sense of humor that makes him a joy in the classroom, the press release stated. “You can always count on Xander to get his work done with a smile on his face. If he has challenges, he’s not afraid to ask for help. If he makes a mistake, he’s not afraid to admit to his mistake and try to fix things moving forward,” his teacher said. When not in the classroom, Bredemeyer enjoys art, music and weightlifting with his little brother.