Gerdes named student of month at PBL High School

PAXTON — Sophomore Sindra Gerdes, the daughter of Angela Bigham of Paxton, was named student of the month for December at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School.

Gerdes was nominated by her English teacher, Jason Peterson, who has been impressed by her initiative and work ethic. 

In his nomination letter, Peterson wrote: “During our recent non-fiction unit, Sindra showed an intrinsic passion for learning and a willingness to put in the effort it takes to create excellent work. For the unit, students had to produce expository articles on people or events in the community. One of the challenges of the unit is that to provide a through and accurate explanation of their topic, students have to step out of their comfort zone to talk to strangers and be dogged in the pursuit of their information. Sindra went above and beyond in this regard.

“One of her articles was a historical piece on early African American housing at the University of Illinois. In order to collect her information, Sindra contacted faculty and administrators at the U of I as well as an archives director. With every obstacle that arose, Sindra thought of  creative solutions rather than making excuses or giving up. Sindra’s curiosity and work ethic is a model of what education is at its best.”

Gerdes’ extra-curricular activities include volleyball and softball. She also participates in the school-sponsored bowling club. She also recently volunteered as a worker at the Youth Literature Festival, which is organized through the University of Illinois. 

Gerdes plans to attend college.  At this point, she is thinking about a degree in business or accounting. She is also interested in African American studies.

The student of the month award is administered by the nonprofit PBL Education Foundation. The award recognizes PBL High School students who demonstrate the school district’s mission of “excellence through rigor, relevance and relationships.” Teachers are free to choose their own criteria in nominating students who have lived up to the district’s mission through academics, through service or through character. The winner is chosen by the school’s administration and guidance counselors.

In May, each monthly winner will be honored  at an event hosted by the foundation. At that time, a drawing will be held, and one of the seven students will win a new iPad. All monthly winners are given $25 in Chamber Bucks gift certificates from the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Categories (2):News, Education
Location (3):Local, Paxton, Ford County


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allergic to stupid wrote on January 02, 2018 at 8:01 am

too bad this girl is a bully.....