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Berney Building Belonging Award

Feb. 20, school board members honored Sadie Hartelius and the Berney Student Leadership Team with a Building Belonging Award. The Building Belonging Award is a student/staff recognition program aligned to the district’s "We All Belong Here" unity message promoting a civil, safe and compassionate learning environment. The "Building Belonging" Recognition Award recognizes students/staff who promote activities that create and sustain a sense of belonging, fairness, and justice for all students. Equity and Dual Programs Department Director Dr. Julie Perron coordinates the Building Belonging Award program.

This year Sadie has created and facilitated a student leadership team at Berney Elementary which has student representatives from fourth and fifth grades. Throughout the school year there are two teams; the first team focuses on community outreach, the second focuses on school improvement. This first team of students researched different organizations that help our community and decided they wanted to help the Walla Walla Christian Aid Center with a supply drive. The students planned and developed all parts of this fundraiser including meeting with and interviewing a representative from the Christian Aid Center. This fundraiser was recently completed and the donations were used to help the Christian Aid Center open a new men's facility. The students have also helped provide feedback on monthly assemblies, and the leadership team is now taking an active role in presenting at these assemblies. It is amazing to see these young students in our district show such active leadership skills and engage with their teachers, school and community.

Interim Principal, Don Davis, says, "Mrs. Hartelius has taken the initiative to implement a student leadership team here at Berney Elementary School. Her dedication to her students as well as our school community has not gone unnoticed. She meets with the leadership team frequently to discuss fundraising for local non-profit agencies and ways to build a positive school culture, among other things, that not only benefits our school but the community as well."

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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