Students honored for citizenship

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Aaron Ludwig, Bailey Lake Elementary award winner, with his teacher Carol Barber and Principal Glenn Gualtieri. Photos by Phil Custodio

Clarkston Area Optimists Club honored Outstanding Student Citizens from Bailey Lake and North Sashabaw elementary schools, April 27, at Clarkston United Methodist Church.
“This is something I’m really excited to be a part of, something I look forward to every year,” said Bailey Lake Principal Glenn Gualtieri, who honored fifth grader Aaron Ludwig with the award at the breakfast ceremony.
“Family is important to Aaron,” Gualtieri said. “He likes math because it makes his brain work and is something he uses every day even outside school.”
He also enjoys sports, the principal said.
“Basketball is his main thing,” he said. “He aspires to be a basketball player, but if not he would like to do something with his hands.”
Asked about his goals, the student said he wants to live a long time and have a good life, Gualtieri said.
His teacher, Carol Barber, said the fifth grader embodies the Optimist Creed of being your best.
“He has such sincere empathy for his peers. He thinks only of the best,” Barber said. “I see that determined attitude every day.”
“It makes my heart smile,” said Natalie Ludwig, his mother, who was there with dad Brian Ludwig and Aaron’s brother, Trevor Ludwig.
“He opens the car door for me every morning,” Natalie said. “He’s always thinking one step ahead.”
“Aaron is a great kid. He works hard every day,” Brian said.
“I’m really happy,” Aaron said.

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North Sashabaw Elementary Outstanding Student Citizen award winner Nathan Jenkinson, with Principal Kate Jordan and teacher Erin Kuhn.

Kate Jordan, North Sashabaw Elementary interim principal, said Nathan Jenkinson was an easy choice for the honor.
“Nathan is a leader in the building, the perfect nomination for North Sashabaw Elementary,” Jordan said. “He is a proactive, deep thinker. He’s engaged, and makes all his friends feel something in them. He’s always making connections.”
“When I look up at the creed, I see Nathan,” said his teacher Erin Kuhn. “He’s so strong. He’s learned and lives the Seven Habits.”
He shows true kindness to all and is an integral part of the school, the teacher said.
“It’s rare to see such a level of integrity,” she said.
He is a school safety, assisting students in and out of school, and is also in Alpha Club and competes in the Geography bee and battle of the books.
“I’m very proud,” said Stephanie Jenkinson, Nathan’s mother. “He’s been through a lot. He’s always been very strong.”
“I’m very happy about it,” Nathan said. “I can’t explain how much I want to thank teachers. They taught me to work hard and get better through the years.”