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December 2023 Winners

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Our top ten winners were honored at the Gateway Center in Collinsville, Illinois on October 19, 2023, joined by our Mistress of Ceremonies, KMOV Anchor Taylor Holt, St. Louis County Police Department's Captain Kelling, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department's Lt. Col. Sack, Glendale Police Department's Chief Beaton, and Hazelwood Police Department's Chief  Hudanick.

Cameron Clark

Henry Raab School

Belleville School District 118

Cameron was nominated by Marie Davis, who shared this with us, “When a new school year starts there is always a student that stands out as a leader. Cameron Clark demonstrated that leadership from the first day. He did so many right things it would be impossible to list them all.

To begin with, Cameron is a wonderful role model for other students. I can always count on Cameron to be respectful, responsible, and to do the right thing even when it is hard. Being in the sixth grade there is a lot of peer pressure. He makes sure he steers clear of any silliness or inappropriate behavior. He is also well-liked by his classmates for his kindness and caring attitude.

At times he is my "go to" person. Cameron is the one that I know has paid close attention and can help other classmates that might be getting used to the sixth-grade rules and routine. I am very proud of Cameron! He is very deserving of the Do the Right Thing Award.”  

Kane Dilworth 

Douglas Elementary School
Belleville School District 118

Malinda Waterson, who submitted this nomination stated, “Kane is a student in my class this year who has a sweet spirit and a ton of energy. Kane comes to school happy and enjoys being at school. He is smart, athletic, and has really enjoyed trying out for various positions for our upcoming Field Day events to represent our 4th grade class.

Today was no different in that aspect and Kane demonstrated terrific sportsmanship and encouragement to his classmates during one of our practice events. Kane and several classmates were waiting for their turn at jumping hurdles when two classmates began to shove and push each other to be first in line. Kane calmly spoke to both boys, reminding them that they should not be fighting or having hands-on and that they needed to politely wait for their turn at the event.

Another teacher had to intervene and recognized what Kane was attempting to accomplish in the situation. There might have been a time when Kane would have taken advantage of the situation and would have moved himself ahead in the line, but he has grown so much this school year. Kane explained to the teacher in charge of that event what he had done and how he had helped to stop the altercation before it escalated into a full-blown fight between his two classmates.

I am so proud of Kane for his maturity and calmness in how he handled the situation and helped diffuse the anger between his friends. It is an honor to nominate Kane for the Do The Right Thing award. Way to go, Kane!!    ” 

Gwendolyn Evans

North Kirkwood Middle School

Kirkwood School District

Chrissie Reiss, who nominated her stated, “Gwen is very passionate about rescuing animals and is the founder of Adopt the Pawsibilities highlighting animal rescue.  She has volunteered over 100 hours for Open Door Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill shelter, specifically helping to socialize adult cats at their Cat Adoption Center.  Gwen has held blanket, towel and toy drives for ODAS advertised on her Instagram & Facebook pages. 

She is currently running a month long “Push Ups For Paws” challenge doing 30 push-ups for 30 days to raise money and awareness of Open Door Animal Sanctuary.  Gwen is also a published author!  She has written 2 children's books about her rescue animals, "Iris the Blind Kitty" and "My Pandemic Puppy", which can be found on Amazon with proceeds benefiting Open Door Animal Sanctuary. 

With over 10 animals of her own at home, it is truly amazing that Gwen finds enough hours in the day to care this much for the animals of her community!”

Chloe Gibson and Ne’Khiyea Sumrall

Douglas Elementary School

Belleville School District 118

Cheryl Buescher who nominated them stated, “Chloe and Ne’Khiyea are always so awesome about helping out.  They stay after the bell to make sure the chrome books are plugged in for the next day, chairs are put up and things are picked up off the floor. 

They often volunteer to help the art teacher during their recess or fill in for others who are absent and cannot do their classroom jobs.  If there is a mess to clean up, they are always willing to help out.  They are just all-around kind, helpful young ladies.”

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Zach Huling

Henry Raab School

Belleville School District 118

This young man was nominated by Susan Altadonna, who stated, “There are many ways to describe a student of good character. Many times, you will hear that a student is trustworthy, responsible, respectful, or that they persevere and show kindness to all. Often a student stands out or is recognized for one specific act of good character. However, when a student displays good character every day, in every way and in everything they do, I consider that worthy of recognition! That student is Zach Huling!

Exhibiting good character is just who he is. Every day he comes to school with a "can do" attitude, is willing to help others, speaks kindly to classmates, offers to assist teachers and other grown-ups in the school and puts forth his very best. Just yesterday I saw him picking up trash on the playground just because it was the right thing to do. Not because he was asked or because someone was watching.

I want to recognize Zach for being such an amazing young man. He is truly a role model for others, and we are lucky to have him in our 3rd Grade Family!”

Abigail Mees

Douglas Elementary School

Belleville School District 118

Abigail was nominated for this award by Kristin Trapp who stated, “I would like to nominate Abigail Mees, a fourth-grade student at Douglas Elementary School in Belleville, IL for the Do the Right Thing Award.

Abigail was working with an adult at school when a student struggling to regulate themselves was brought into the same location Abigail was working.

She immediately moved over to make room for the student who was struggling, found calming materials to offer to him for assistance, and talked to him in a very caring manner. She continued to talk to the student while the student re-regulated. Her caring and welcoming actions helped this student overcome the difficult feelings he was experiencing and be ready to return to his normal day.”

Zy’Ramiah Riley

Rose Acres Elementary School

Pattonville School District

Zy’Ramiah was nominated by Quitina Boyd, who stated, “Zy'Ramiah, affectionately known as Zy, while exploring during play, discovered that her fingerprint could open mommy's gun safe (due to a malfunction) and immediately informed mommy of this.  It was explained to her what the safe contained and she was reminded of the dangers of guns. 

Had she not said anything, sadly another tragedy could have occurred by a firearm landing in the hands of a child.”

Olivia Smith

Franklin Elementary School

Belleville School District 118

Olivia’s story came to us from Franklin Elementary School’s Principal, Kelly Harter.  Her nomination stated, “Olivia Smith is a first-grade student at Franklin. Her grandpa bought her a special snack to enjoy at home after school.

When she got the snack, she asked her grandpa if he could check and see if it was a peanut free snack. Her grandpa checked with her, then asked why she wanted to know. She said she wanted to take the snack to school to share with her friends and a friend in her class can only have peanut free snacks.” 

Zhuri Warren

Momentum Academy Tower Grove East

Momentum Academies

Zhuri’s story was shared with us by Hazelwood Police Department’s Detective, Nicholas Paulda, who nominated her, stating, “Zhuri was previously placed in a foster home from 2014-2016 where she had been physically and emotionally abused. Zhuri was adopted out of that home, but her biological brother remained in the foster home. Over the last year, Zhuri had learned of similar abusive incidents happening to her brother. Zhuri immediately notified her adoptive mother about what was happening with her brother, which led to Child Abuse Hotlines being completed.

Due to circumstances out of Zhuri's control, her brother remained in the foster home, and she went months without being able to see him. Zhuri ultimately was able to see her brother during his birthday weekend. While with her brother, Zhuri observed multiple incidents of abuse inside the foster home. Zhuri, putting herself at risk, obtained vital photos and videos showing the abuse. She, again, notified her adoptive mother. Another hotline was completed, and law enforcement was notified.

This time, Zhuri's brother was removed from the foster home and placed into protective custody. Because of the courageous acts of Zhuri and refusing to give up helping her brother, Zhuri's brother is now in a safe, loving home, and law enforcement applied for charges against the foster parent with the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.”     

Brier Whitley

Remington Traditional School

Pattonville School District

Brier was nominated by Maryland Heights School Resource Officer Erica Stough, who stated, “I first met Brier this year when I became the Remington Traditional SRO/DARE officer.  Brier is in 2nd grade.  At birth, Brier was diagnosed with X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH).  This is a rare disorder that affects 1 in 20,000 people.  In children this disorder may lead to bone abnormalities and defects that may impair mobility, including bone fractures, hearing loss, ligament and bone pains, and increased risk of infections such as spontaneous dental abscesses.  

Brier is a kid that will make you smile the second you see him.  He has the best personality and is a friend to everyone.  One of my first days at this school, I went out to recess with the second graders.  They decided they were going to race each other.  Brier stepped up to the race line and took off.  He also plays soccer and football at recess.  Several times I watched Brier go up to kids that are by themselves on the playground and start talking and playing with them.  He is very thoughtful of others’ feelings.  
He does very well in class. He tries his best in all he does, makes sure those around him are loved and cared for, and is always up for a hug!  His personality and smile shine through as soon as he enters a room.  If you aren't already smiling, he will have you smiling and laughing in no time!  If you're having a bad day, Brier is sure to cheer you up by checking on you, cracking a joke, breaking into a dance or to just be with you!
Brier is a leader in his class and among his peers.  He treats everyone with kindness and respect.  He is polite and has best manners towards teachers and other adults.
Brier is a leader and I believe Brier would be a perfect recipient of the Do The Right Thing Award.”    

Wyatt Yock

Douglas Elementary School

Belleville School District 118

Wyatt was nominated by his teacher, Amy Jo Mueller, who stated, “I would like to nominate my student, Wyatt Yock, for a Do the Right Thing award. Wyatt is a 2nd grader at Douglas Elementary. He's worked very hard to exercise self- control.

Wyatt brings a lot of information and energy to share at school each day. We've been practicing the use of mindfulness and self-talk to try and channel all of his (as I like to say), "might for right!" When he needs reminders, Wyatt is always very respectful and tries his best to do the right thing.”    

Congratulations to all of our top ten winners! 
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