Inspiring History: Aseltine’s 2019-20 End of Year Award Recipients

At the end of every school year, Aseltine issues several awards to celebrate student success. Each award boasts a historical background special to Aseltine, and selected students have exemplified the unique criteria of each during their journey.

Even in the current, shifted educational landscape, this year was no different. Aseltine staff went the extra mile to deliver a social distancing-approved, surprise ceremony to each student award recipient. From learning to believe in themselves to achieving what once seemed like impossible academic goals, these students have channeled their inner Aseltine Eagle to soar.

Below is a look at the history behind Aseltine’s coveted end of year student awards and a nod to this year’s recipients.

Carla Van Liew Award

The Carla Van Liew Award was established in 2015 to honor the perseverance, tenacity and resourcefulness Carla demonstrated as a member of Aseltine’s staff from 1976-2013. Always putting others first, Carla had an unwavering dedication to every student and family that came through Aseltine’s doors. It is this enthusiasm that represents the Carla Van Liew Award.

Just like Carla, the 2019-20 student recipient of this award is thoughtful and empathetic to their peers and school staff, offering encouraging words to other students and making sure all have the chance to speak during community meetings. This student has made incredible academic progress over the past few years, and truly came out of their shell this year to reveal the funny, hard-working and kind student we knew was there all along.

“Johnny” Blais “Conrac” Award

“Johnny” Blais, fondly known as “The Blazeman”, was a former Aseltine teacher and a terrific triathlete. Johnny’s ALS diagnosis in 2005 didn’t stop him from competing, completing the grueling Ironman challenge where he had to throw himself to the ground and roll down a mountain to make it to the finish line in time. Johnny never believed there was anything he couldn’t accomplish in the face of ALS or, as a child, his learning disabilities, and this mindset is the true embodiment of the “Conrac” award.

Each year, this student awardee is selected based on their spirit to never give up; their determination to go the extra mile, just like “The Blazeman”.

This year’s student went from finding every subject and elective frustrating, refusing to do school work for several hours a day, to having the inner confidence to try. This student now reads novels in class, completes math problems independently and scores big on the court. It is because of this willingness to try, try again that they find themselves transitioning back to their public school this coming fall.

Most Improved Student

Aseltine’s Most Improved Student award goes to a member of the school community who has exhibited extreme growth and progress throughout the year.

Our 2019-20 awardee went from avoiding interaction and displaying disruptive behavior as a result of not being able to properly communicate their thoughts and feelings to self regulating their behavior and actively participating in classroom lessons.

Showing immense growth both academically and behaviorally, this student went from 75% work completion in the fall to completing 100% of their Distance Learning (plus, extra credit!) at the close of the year. This student now advocates for themselves, asking questions about what is required of them and how they can accomplish their goal of returning to public school.

This student has shown great change within themselves and is a wonderful example to their fellow classmates. The leaps and bounds this student has grown in just one year perfectly exemplifies Aseltine’s Most Improved Student award.

Student of The Year Award

Celebrating hard work, obstacles overcome and an incredible educational journey, this year’s Student of The Year Award went to a student who has beaten all of the odds.

Arriving to Aseltine with experiences that had diminished their trust, this student had the courage to give Aseltine the chance to build a rapport with them. This rapport gave way to trusting partnerships and exponential growth.

Over the years, this student built inner confidence and was allowed the opportunity to let their creativity and passion flourish. This student’s courage and determination are the foundation of Aseltine’s Student of The Year Award, and our staff couldn’t be more proud.

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