FAIRVIEW, Ore. (KOIN) — In the wake of social struggles within the Reynolds School District that shut down the middle school for two weeks, one student stands out among her peers for remarkable character.
Wilkes Elementary 5th-grader Shalom Fanta was publicly recognized Wednesday night at the Reynolds School Board meeting. The school board recognizes one outstanding student every month and Shalom’s teacher Dena Lambert nominated her for the honor.
“Shalom is a 5th-grader in my class and new to Wilkes this year. I am nominating Shalom due to her outstanding leadership in and out of the class and her sense of empathy, passion, and justice,” Lambert wrote to the board. “Everyday she strives for her classmates to feel valued, heard and cared for. Shalom and her family emigrated to the United States from Ethiopia and it is a big part of how she identifies. Already she is thinking of ways that we can welcome Afghan refugees who are coming to Portland. Shalom has her sights set on becoming a future governor and she sure has my vote.”
Shalom spoke to the board and thanked them for the recognition.
“I am really glad and honored to be here. And I’ve learned many things in just three months and I have learned that this school, Wilkes Elementary School, is really kind and really helpful in my life. And I really respect Ms. Lambert because she is my teacher and she really helps us and she does many things for us and I really, really respect her for that.
“I have many friends there who are really kind and passionate who have big dreams. It’s really good when you have peers and students and teachers who are very kind and passionate and who have big dreams. It really helps you to feel safer and happier and it motivates you and makes you productive in the school and it really helps out in your life.
I am so glad to have all of them in my life and I’m just so happy to be here and really I just want to say thank you and I’m really honored.”