PENNSBURY >> Eight district students have been honored with character awards for their respectfulness and responsibility at school.

Pastor Vicky Allen, representing Pennsbury LYFT, and school board member Gary Sanderson were on hand to present the October awards, which come with a certificate of recognition and a cash prize provided by the First United Methodist Church of Fairless Hills.

The honorees for October - Piper Zeman, Amanda Rearden, Griffin Phillips and Toby Riggall - were singled out for exemplifying the trait of respectfulness. 

Recognized at the elementary level was Toby Riggall, a fifth grader at Quarry Hill Elementary School. Toby was nominated by teacher, Jessica Hilbert, who wrote that Toby is polite and kind. 

“He always uses his manners and says please and thank you to his teachers,” said Hilbert. “On the first day of school, he asked me if I needed help with anything. When I speak to him, he always gives me his full attention and eye contact. When I give directions to the class, Toby will stop what he is doing immediately and pay attention.”

Also recognized at the elementary level was Griffin Phillips, a Kindergarten student at Fallsington Elementary School. He was nominated by Jennifer Tietz, Cherie Lynn Kooker, Terri Sherman, Sue Castelli, Kristen Cahill, and Principal Vinny DePaola. 

“They say that in just one month, Griffin has made quite the impact on their school community with his respectful manner and character,” said Sanderson. 

Griffin’s respectful behavior stood out to SPARK teacher, Ms. Sherman, who said, “Griffin demonstrates respectfulness in SPARK class when he attentively listens to the speaker.” 

Ms. Castelli noted, “Griffin is always extremely polite, nice, and respectful. Whenever he asks for my help ... he uses great manners and does so in a respectful way.” 

Several teachers noted that they were touched when he and his mother purchased and gave an inspiring book to the Kindergarten and first grade titled, “We Are All Wonders.”

Piper Zeman is a sixth grader at William Penn Middle School who was nominated by teacher, Tracy Titus-Goldberg. 

Titus-Goldberg said that although new to Pennsbury, Piper has quickly become a caring, polite and respected leader in the school community. 

Piper greets her peers, teachers, and other staff daily with words that are genuine, kind, and welcoming. She is respectful of rules and the school-wide behavior plan. She leads by example, modeling expected hallway behaviors and procedures. 

Titus-Goldberg said, “In a community where she could’ve chosen to be anything, Piper has chosen to be a respectful leader and a positive influence on others.”

Amanda Rearden, a senior from Pennsbury High School, is the honoree at the high school level. Amanda was nominated by teacher, David Reimschussel, who said that Amanda consistently demonstrates a polite manner when interacting with others. 

She actively listens to her peers, showing them respect. When giving feedback to others, she uses positive terms to uplift them. Amanda is respectful of school policies and classroom rules. She sets a positive example for others around her. If she questions a policy or rule, she does so thoughtfully and respectfully.

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Four more district students were recognized with character awards at the November school board meeting.

In the absence of board member Gary Sanderson, Director of Student Services Beth Aldridge recognized Willow Zeman, Colin Delahanty, Sara Mayberry and Mikayla Wiesner for exemplifying the trait of “responsibility.”

Zeman, a fourth grader at Oxford Valley Elementary School, was nominated by teacher Julie Samples.

Samples said that Willow “goes out of her way to take responsibility for herself and her daily life at school. If she makes an error, she takes full responsibility for it, apologizes and says she will do better next time.”

Willow also shares her sense of responsibility with those around her, as a true W.I.S.E. Oxford Valley student. “If she sees someone struggling, she steps up to help,” said Samples. “She is an outstanding example of what it means to be responsible, combined with an amazing amount of humility and kindness.”

Colin Delahanty, a fourth grader at Fallsington Elementary School, was nominated by Principal Vinny DePaola, Katie Romig, Kimmie Massaroni, Meagan Mauck, Audrey Lam, Ann Murray, Jennifer Tietz and Kristin Cahill.

According to his principal and teachers, Colin has proven to be “an exceptionally responsible” student at Fallsington.

Ms. Romig said that Colin “shows responsibility and leadership in class each day, holding himself accountable for his assignments and taking the initiative to make up work he may have missed.”

As a Safety, Colin takes his role seriously and is a good model for his peers and for younger students, too.

The middle school winner, William Penn seventh grader Sara Mayberry, was nominated by Blair Greiner, Denise Melnick, Sally Poletick, Susan Mahoney and Patrick Balcer.

Her teachers said in their nomination that Sara is an “exceptionally thoughtful and responsible student.”

She has worked for the William Penn school store since her arrival in the sixth grade and volunteered her time over the summer to help during orientation and locker try-outs.

“Sara sets the responsibility bar high in language arts, where she has never missed an assignment or a deadline and never gives anything less than her best,” said her teachers.

High school winner Mikayla Wiesner, a senior at PHS, was nominated by Susan Lawrence, who said that during a period when Mikayla was under the weather, she never complained and took responsibility for completing all of her missed work.

And when a peer injured his arm and could not write, Mikayla offered her time to help write for the student, taking full responsibility to help out during a difficult time.

Mikayla, who works in a pizza shop, also volunteered to orchestrate a pizza party for her class during midterms, taking complete responsibility for the event.

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LYFT, an acronymn that stands for Lower Makefield, Yardley, Falls and Tullytown, is a volunteer community coalition made up of individuals from all parts of the community to support and strengthen the youth and families of the Pennsbury School District.

Its mission is to create a more positive community environment where youth are safe and can thrive by working to reduce the risks that confront youth such as bullying, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, school violence and delinquency. The coalition also provides support for parents and recognizes students who demonstrate positive character.

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