Staples announces December Students of the Month

December Students of the Month were announced by Principal Stafford W. Thomas Jr. on the morning of Dec. 13. Students of the Month are students that are respectful, hard-working, kind and make Staples a better place.

Graphic by Paige Tighe ’24

December Students of the Month were announced by Principal Stafford W. Thomas Jr. on the morning of Dec. 13. Students of the Month are students that are respectful, hard-working, kind and make Staples a better place.

Within Staples High School, there are students that continuously contribute to the school’s community. A student’s persistence in school, amiability towards their peers and continuous contribution to the community deserves recognition. 

On, Dec. 13, 2021, Principal Stafford W. Thomas Jr. announced the December Students of the Month over the intercom and sent out emails to Westley Dick ’25, Isabel Brookbanks ’25, Samantha Sheldon ’24, Franca Strandell ’23, John Whittle ’23, Molly Liles ’22 and John Kuster ’22 informing them of their achievement.

The Students of the Month were selected by teachers and administrators who view them as “the glue of the community,” as Patch.com said. They are nominated in light of their attitude towards Staples, not based on athletic ability or GPA. This makes the award open to any student. 

According to Strandell, the recipients were initially notified of the award through a vague email; however, it informed the winners that they needed to go down to the office at a certain time during the first period. 

When they arrived at the main office, the students were greeted by Principal Thomas, who told them they won the December Student of the Month award. They were given a certificate and took a photo. 

“When I received Student of the Month I was honored and slightly surprised,” Strandell said. “I don’t always sit at the front of the class, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t value my role in the classroom.”

When I received Student of the Month I was honored and slightly surprised. I don’t always sit at the front of the class, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t value my role in the classroom.”

— Franca Strandell '23

Strandell indulges herself in multiple clubs but takes pride in her co-leadership in the Kool to be Kind club, she is a player of the Staples girls’ soccer team and is bi-lingual. She encourages kindness and sportsmanship among her classmates and the Staples community as a whole. 

“This award serves as a motivator for me to continue to contribute to the Staples community,” Strandell said. 

On the other hand, Westley Dick ’25 does not consider receiving this award to be a big deal, but he was happy that his teachers acknowledged his effort in school, 

“Receiving the award was kind of a surprise honestly,” Dick said. “I see myself as kind of an average student just doing an average job.”

As shown by Strandell and Dick, the Student of the Month award can be received in different ways. Nonetheless, both students said that they were not actively trying to win the award. Instead they simply make an effort to create a safe place for their peers to work and learn, be a friendly face and fill the Staples community with respect and kindness. 

“I do my best to excel in my role as a student, classmate, friend and member at Staples,” Strandell said. “I value kindness and always try to improve someone’s day no matter what may be going on around us.”