Ridgefield School District officials announce Employee, Students of the Month

Denise Krause is named Employee of the Month for her work at View Ridge Middle School

RIDGEFIELD — Ridgefield School District officials recently recognized the April Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

Denise Krause
Denise Krause

The Employee of the Month is Denise Krause, who manages View Ridge Middle School, simply put. She makes sure that all who enter that school’s doors feel safe, supported and is successful. She is a Spudder, born and raised, and serves View Ridge and the Ridgefield community with great pride.

“With the myriad of tasks asked of her, Denise is a source of tireless support to staff carrying out their day-to-day duties,’’ read a press release from the Ridgefield School District. “She ensures that they are set up for success, knows when to offer an extra hand or an ear to listen, and when necessary, deliver a kick in the tail.

“Parents know they can rely on Denise for important information; she will go the extra mile to accommodate their needs,’’ the release stated. “Denise is flexible in unique circumstances and can come up with creative ways to meet families where they are. She shines brightest in her work with kids. While she is direct and to the point, students know she has their best interests at heart. She has a particular soft spot for students who are experiencing hard times or are struggling to behave consistently.

“Denise builds positive, empathetic relationships with our frequent visitors and is one of their leading advocates when it comes to improving their outcomes. Finally, Denise represents the district and its families with the highest standards of integrity and character. She follows through on commitments, honors confidentiality, and takes ownership of her work.’’

Students of the Month

Dylan Benavidez
Dylan Benavidez

Dylan Benavidez, a fourth grader, is April’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.

Teachers and staff are very proud of Dylan. They write, “Dylan Benavidez is a wonderful young man. We are incredibly proud and honored to be working with him this year. From the first day, he has been a model student in the classroom. He has the most amazing work ethic. There hasn’t been a time where he gives up, no matter what is thrown at him. It is also wonderful to see him work with his peers. The patience this young man possesses is admirable, and he demonstrates caring and compassion for his classmates. He never balks at his share of work and will tirelessly help his partners if they are having trouble. When the going gets tough, he never quits and works until he gets through it. Dylan is solid, steady, and a true representation of a South Ridge Roadrunner.”

Deven Hausinger-Barbo
Deven Hausinger-Barbo

Deven Hausinger-Barbo, a fourth grader, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.

The teachers and staff at Union Ridge are very proud of Deven. They write, “Deven is a hard-working student who is patient and caring. The ROCKS expectations come naturally to him. He is always respectful and shows ownership. He works hard to improve his community by being kind, and he is always safe. Union Ridge is lucky to have Deven’s friendly face smiling throughout our building. Deven is a great friend to his peers and a wonderful role model in class. We are proud of Deven’s hard work and delighted to nominate him as Student of the Month.”

Maleah Heng
Maleah Heng

Maleah Heng, an eighth grader, is View Ridge Middle School’s Student of the Month.

The View Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Maleah. They write, “Maleah is an amazing student and role model. She is always full of enthusiasm when it comes to learning. Her positive “can do” attitude makes her a valuable contributor to every classroom she is part of. She passionately shares comments and insightful thoughts in classroom discussions. Her excitement for learning shines through in her eagerness to help her peers reach understanding. She is always open to challenges and never hesitates to ask questions and risk mistakes. Maleah works meticulously on very task presented, setting an example for all her classmates. She is often first to step forward with a new idea and frequently explores new ways to tackle concepts she has already mastered. View Ridge is lucky to have Maleah, and we look forward to her future accomplishments.”

Niyonzima Jean De Dieu
Niyonzima Jean De Dieu

Niyonzima Jean De Dieu, a sophomore, was chosen from Ridgefield High School.

The Ridgefield High School teachers and staff are very proud of Niyonzima. They write, “With great privilege, Ridgefield High School announces Niyonzima Jean De Dieu as our April Student of the Month. Niyo was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. When he was 12 years old, his village was attacked and Niyo, along with others, was captured by his attackers and held for two weeks. He was freed by his government and sent to Kenya along with other refugees to live with a family.’’

During his two years in Kenya, Niyo filled out paperwork requesting placement for refugees, not knowing where in the world he might be placed, or if he would be placed. During the two-week period in 2017 when the U.S. ban on refugees was lifted, Niyo was placed in Ridgefield and enrolled in RHS on March 2, 2017.

“To say that Niyo demonstrates resiliency is an understatement,’’ stated the district’s press release. “But more than that, Niyo is a student who is a positive influence on our entire campus. He gives his best at all times, has learned the English language in the one year and one month he’s been here (and is studying French at RHS just to make things more challenging). He is an incredibly hard-working student and is always willing to help others. He is dedicated to his education and runs on the school’s cross country and track teams as well as sings in the advanced choir.”

One staff member said it best: “We are lucky to have him at Ridgefield High School.”

Ridgefield School District is grateful to its sponsor, the historic Sportsman’s Restaurant and Lounge, a local Ridgefield business owned and operated by Terry Hurd. This is the fourth year that Hurd has provided funding to support the district’s recognition program.

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