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“Confidence is a feeling you have when you feel good about yourself and what you can do,” said BCSD School Psychologist Ms. Rachel Teplitsky, during January’s Berlin Elementary Character Education assembly.

Each month BES Principal Tracy Kent and the school’s Character Education Committee choose a mindset theme for the students and staff. January’s mindset at BES was, I can show confidence.

“Confidence can be an ‘inner voice’ helping you feel good, like saying to yourself, ‘I can do it!’” said School Counselor Ms. Ryan Steller during the school-wide assembly.

Ms. Teplitsky continued: “Confidence can be a safe feeling, so you know it is okay to try something new or to make a mistake.”

This year’s monthly assemblies are hosted by Principal Tracy Kent over Zoom, a platform that allows students to gather virtually from home if they are remote or while in their classrooms at BES. Principal Kent uses this time to build a community within the school and unite all students both in person and remote.

This month Ms. Kent asked students and staff to share how they show confidence. Each grade level and some special area teachers presented how they show confidence.

“Kindergarteners show confidence when we follow directions, count, write, read, and listen,” said kindergarten teacher Ms. Hannigan.

“In first grade, students take pride in reading a new book out loud,” said first grade teacher Ms. Witbeck. “That takes confidence!”

“In second grade, we show confidence by reading and sharing our work in front of one another,” said second grade teacher, Ms. Nichols.

“Third graders show confidence by speaking on a classroom Zoom to share an answer,” said third grader Matthew Schaaphok. “Third graders also show confidence by presenting projects in front of their class.”

“In fourth grade, we raise our hands, we don’t give up when a task is hard, we say ‘I’ve got this’, we keep our camera on and we give presentations,” shared fourth grade teacher, Ms. Laz.

“In fifth grade, we need confidence to read our own writing aloud to the class” said fifth grade teacher Ms. Rizzo. “We must have confidence to be self-directed when accomplishing a task.”

“In music class, students are encouraged to sing with confidence,” said music teacher Ms. Labnon. “Don’t be shy about your beautiful voices.”

Ms. Ortolano, BES’s Physical Therapist, talked about setting personal goals to gain confidence. Art teacher Ms. MacDonald sees confidence in her students when they share their artwork in class.

“In Library, students must be confident when answering questions,” said Librarian Ms. Mitchell.

Band teacher Ms. Baker shared how fifth grader Arianna Thorsey feels confident in band: “In band, I sit and read the notes and practice my trombone so I have the confidence to play in my lesson,”

Principal Kent’s overall message to the students this assembly was that when you believe in yourself, great things happen!

As the assembly concluded, Principal Kent announced January’s Mountaineer, Climbers, Guides and Merit recipients. Being a Mountaineer means being responsible, safe and respectful.

Mountaineer Merits are given out throughout the month by BES staff and bus drivers to celebrate students who are demonstrating these traits. The students are given merits, which are deposited in the Mountaineer Merit container found in the Elementary School’s main hallway. At the assembly each month Principal Kent draws 10 merit recipients, which includes both in-person and remote students (5 from kindergarten to second grade and 5 from third to fifth grades) who then receive a prize.

Mountain Guides and Mountain Climbers are chosen by the teachers each month. Mountain Guide awards go to students who consistently follow the expectations at school and serve as role models for others. A Mountain Climber award goes to students who are working really hard and showing improvement to meet the behavior expectations.

Congratulations to these award recipients for January:

Mountaineer Merits

Otis Corbett , Luna Taylor-Barber, Juniper Seifridsberger, Iris Burdick, Vincenzo Distano, Dannie Young, Addison Mosher, Alexander Cerniglia, Kyle Sweener and Peyton Bink

Mountain Climbers

Emma Hunt, Janessa Cummings, Jace Dudley, Dominic Sams, Rockim Minkler and Aiden Gates

Mountain Guides

Ava Von Schilgen, Khalani Gonzalez-Caban, Julia Turetsky, Mason Fowler, Otis Corbett, Greyson Sorbello, Jacob Bonesteel, Olivia Gates, David Ovitt, Luke Turetsky, Jordan Clark and Dederick Bolt