From left are Pennsbury character award winners Griffin Phillips, Toby Riggall, Piper Zeman and Amanda Rearden.

PENNSBURY >> Four district students were honored with character awards at the October 18 meeting of the Pennsbury School Board.

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

In conjunction with the District’s ongoing character education initiative, students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels are spotlighted each month during the school year for possessing positive character assets.

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.

LYFT, an acronym 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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