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Bearcats of Character


The Aledo ISD Board of Trustees recognized the January and February Bearcats of Character during the February 28, 2022, regular board meeting. The district recognized 22 students for kindness (January) and perseverance (February), two character traits that were part of the focus of the district’s character education program Positivity Project - or P2 - during these months.



The students honored for kindness (January) are:

Aledo High School: Texas Ray, 11th grade

“Texas helped make all of the brand new AHS students feel welcome, making sure they had a lunch buddy, and know where the bathrooms and library were. It can be terrifying to be a new student in the middle of the year and she made their transition so much easier.”

Aledo Learning Center: Brittney Yellow-Eyes Jones, 12th grade

“Brittney shows her kindness through her interactions with her teachers and peers. When she sees that a person is feeling sad, she works to make them smile. She starts this smile with a smile of her own. She is always encouraging and helpful when someone is in need. FYI=she graduated 12/13/2021”

Daniel Ninth Grade: Aiden Thomas, 9th grade

“Aiden shows kindness to his teachers and peers in subtle ways that make a huge impact on our campus. Most days you can find Aiden holding the main doors open for students on their way to 4th period. He does not mind being late for lunch to make this small gesture of kindness to others. There are days Aiden does not get to the door quick enough to hold it open for others. On such days, it is because he has stayed behind in the band hall to stack chairs and put away music stands. These gestures of kindness stand out to others and set Aiden apart as one who intentionally seeks ways to make a positive impact on others..” 

Aledo Middle School: Itzel Varela, 7th grade

“Itzel’s gentle disposition makes people feels instantly at ease. She always shows empathy for others and cares deeply for her peers.”

McAnally Intermediate School: Keaton Smith, 6th grade

“McAnally has chosen Keaton Smith as our Bearcat character for exemplifying KINDNESS on a daily basis! Keaton has a smile on his face every day and is always willing to help other students, teachers, and staff. Keaton has a servant’s heart and it shows in his daily acts of kindness with our students that have special needs. He helps each morning by greeting students as they get off of their busses and helping them to their classroom. He is always friendly and engages in social conversation by showing interest in any stories that are shared with him. During lunch, Keaton sits at a table to assist a student who is blind. Each day, he helps guide the student to the lunchroom, finds their seat and then assists her through the lunch line to get her food. He makes sure she has appropriate eating utensils and can open any drink items with which she needs assistance. Keaton also helps our students with special needs at the end of the school day to ensure they get to the appropriate transportation location and bus number. Keaton has tirelessly and selflessly given of himself to assist others!”

Annetta Elementary School: Harper Harbuck, 5th grade

“Harper is friendly, generous and considerate every day. When others need help, Harper eagerly jumps in to help those in need. She never hesitates to provide a hug and a word of encouragement to others when they need it most. We are all fortunate to have her at Annetta.”

Coder Elementary School: Jacob Hekele, 5th grade

“Jacob is such a great student. He is kind and caring to all and is a great helper. He is concerned about others and strives to make them feel welcome. He works well with others in class and always gives 100 percent. Jacob’s amazing character stands out and is noticed by teachers and staff throughout the school.”

McCall Elementary School: Draven Dorn, 2nd  grade

“Draven shows kindness every day by making sure all students are included. If a classmate does not have a partner for an activity, he is the first one to ask that student to join him. Draven encourages classmates to be on their best behavior. His kindness spreads throughout the room and the building. Adults comment frequently about how he initiates conversations and says “Good Morning!” every day.” Mrs. Porras, the McCall Music teacher also said “He always takes the initiative to personally say hello to me in the hallway without fail.” **Another awesome bit of information about Draven is that he has a brother and sister who also attend McCall. We asked each homeroom class to recognize students for the monthly character trait and ALL THREE DORN students were recognized in their classrooms for their kindness! What a proud parent moment as hearing other people tell you all your children go above and beyond to show kindness is awesome!”

Stuard Elementary School: Honor Ramos, 5th grade

“Honor was new to Stuard this year. He came in from day one with a positive attitude, smile on his face, and a heart for learning. His kindness shows each day as he is always willing to help others, makes sure everyone is included, and always cheering others on.”

Vandagriff Elementary School: Ashley Petrazio, 5th grade

“Ashley always comes to class with a smile and a greeting. Her kindness is a gift to all who are around her. Ashley is very aware and considerate of other’s feelings. She has a servant’s heart and seeks to make a positive difference in this crazy world we live in. Her smile is infectious and she has an amazing wit and sense of humor. Ashley is a treasured member of Vandagriff Elementary.”

Walsh Elementary School: Julian Cancino, 1st  grade

“Julian is a terrific helper to the teachers and his classmates. He is frequently helping others when we transition learning stations make sure their activity is cleaned up. Julian without hesitation offers for others to borrow or use his supplies if someone’s is misplaced. He comes in each morning and gets straight to work and I can always count on him to be on task when we are working. Julian is a great friend at recess who lets all students participate and he works well in any group that he is placed.”


The students honored for perseverance (February) are:

Aledo High School: Liana Abu Tobeh, 11th grade

“Liana has struggled a large part of her life with being blind in one eye. Her disability has made her the strong independent student she is today. In her early years even basic activities were hard, but now she is thriving both academically and socially. Overcoming the obstacles set before her has been a difficult journey, but has strengthened her immensely. Liana is thriving at Aledo High School, and she brightens our school with her confident attitude.”

Aledo Learning Center: Karis Odom, 10th grade

“Karis does a great job of coming to school and working on her classes. She works to understand the material and works to solve problems before asking for help.”

Daniel Ninth Grade: Haley Roberson, 9th grade

“Haley Roberson shows perseverance in all areas of her life. While excelling academically, becoming involved in campus activities and committees, engaging socially with her peers, and transitioning within the last year to Aledo from Colorado, Haley has also been a key player for the Aledo Swim Team. Haley is committed to her sport and practices both before school and after school most days of the week. She has already broken several swim records for Aledo in her first year as a member of the team. Not only that, she just recently became a State qualifier for swim for the 200M and two additional relays! Haley’s perseverance, hard-work, dedication, and commitment shines in all she does.” 

Aledo Middle School: Amos Collier, 7th grade

“Teachers recognize that Amos consistently shows perseverance by always pushing through whatever challenge is before him. Whether it’s learning new material in band, or analyzing poetic structure in ELAR, Amos takes on challenges and never gives up. He is always working and striving to do better.”

McAnally Intermediate School: Emma Vidal, 6th grade

“Emma has been challenged with many different educational settings over the last few years. She was diagnosed with Leukemia in 3rd grade which caused her to lose her vision. She only knew her traditional elementary classroom and was then moved to homebound instruction during her cancer treatment. As she finished her treatment, our district was forced to have virtual learning due to the Covid pandemic. She completed her 5th grade year with remote learning to help protect her immune system. Emma has transitioned back into the regular school setting at the beginning of her 6th grade year.

Emma has faced several challenges this year. She came to McAnally Intermediate, after being at Vandagriff Elementary since kindergarten. It was intimidating for her as there were many students that she did not know and they were not aware of her story. She has had to learn how to switch classes independently without her vision 7 times throughout the school day. Emma has had to help her teachers learn as she learns the best strategies for her in the classroom. Her language arts teacher stated “we are in a unit that involves charts and visual materials and Emma never quits on me. We are always working on ways to make the lesson more hands on for her or meet her needs better. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but she continues to show up and work with me to find that best options for her. It has not been easy for her and she continues to work every day to learn and grow as a student, friend and leader.”

Annetta Elementary School: Jaxson Woolsey, 4th grade

“Jaxson is new to Aledo this year and has overcome so many obstacles - new city, new friends, new sports team, new teachers, so much new! He pushes through all of the challenges thrown at him and turns them into wins! Jaxson also sets the example of perseverance with his peers. When classmates are stuck or about to throw in the towel, he takes the initiative to give them a pat on the back and offer words of encouragement or help in any way he can.”

Coder Elementary School: Maddie McLain, 5th grade

“Maddie works hard in everything she does. She doesn’t let a struggle get her down- instead she tries her best, asks questions and continues to make progress. She shows perseverance daily and is a great role model for her classmates.”

McCall Elementary School: Kendall Caspersen, 1st  grade

“Despite going through a lot in her 7 years on this Earth, Kendall is also so joyous and full of life. She continues to make each day count and never gives up even when obstacles are thrown her way. We are very proud of her dedication to make every day a happy day!!”

Stuard Elementary School: Grant Roark, 4th grade

“«This student is always showing perseverance when things get difficult, he continues to push through and always ends up doing excellent! For example, during testing, Grant said it was too hard and too much work, but he kept showing perseverance and completed the test. He ended up meeting his winter goal he set for himself, and actually exceeded by a few points. Grant has shown perseverance in the gym. There were activities that in years past may have made him frustrated or want to give up, but this year he tries every activity, and pushes through moments of frustration. He has grown so much in the last few years.”

Vandagriff Elementary School: Easton Skinner, 5th grade

“Easton is consistently an all around solid young man. He is always respectful, not only of teachers, but of his classmates as well. He maintains constant effort regardless of the task at hand. He makes conscious choices to do what is right. Easton’s perseverance makes him a true leader.”

Walsh Elementary School: Jeniver Barrera, 5th  grade

Jeniver perseveres and shows grit daily in her school work. She preserves through many academic and learning challenges. She not only embodies perseverance on the academic side, but also on the social emotional. She has shown extreme perseverance when handling and working through difficult situations. I have never met a child that attacks and embodies perseverance like she does. Jenive inspires me (as her teacher) to stay determined, never give up and persevere through all the obstacles that life may throw at me.”


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