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Celebrating Gratitude in KSD

We're celebrating gratitude in the Kennewick School District. Read on to learn why some of our students and staff are feeling thankful this year.

Tavarius Norwood - Park

Tavarius, sixth grade, Park Middle School

“I’m thankful for Ms. Lete helping me with my math, because I want to be high school-level smart. My future that I want to be is an NFL player, and I heard from my dad that you have to be really, really smart to do that. I’m also thankful for Ms. Greer, for giving me a challenge in basketball. Yesterday in P.E., we were playing two vs. two, and other people wanted to join in. And me and my friend and another student were playing, and Ms. Greer joined in on the other team. I was guarding her and she gave me a challenge (meaning she didn’t let him off easy and played for real). I really like that because I have faith in myself that I’m going to get better, so I want people to challenge me so I can see if I’m better for myself.”


Nicole Marshall - Edison

Nicole Marshall, kindergarten teacher, Edison Elementary School

“I’m thankful for my family, my students and my amazing kindergarten team. This is our third year together. We work really well together and we’re always there for each other, inside and outside of school. I love teaching kindergarten because it’s their first impression, typically, of a public school. It’s fun to experience that with them and help shape them. It’s hard to describe – it’s almost like you’re going through school all over again and it’s fun to see what they get excited about and to get them started into loving school and loving to learn.”


David Torres - Amistad

David, kindergarten, Amistad Elementary School

“It’s a good thing to be thankful. I’m thankful for my family – my sister, my little sister, my mom, my dad, my granny, and my dad's family, too. I love my baby sister, she's so cute! Also, I’m thankful for trees because they give oxygen. I learned about that in school. They are a thing to be thankful for! I also learned about the leaves that protect the trees. I love learning about trees. They’re so interesting.”


Elizabeth Kufahl - Legacy

Elizabeth, senior, Legacy High School

"I’m very thankful for school and I’m very thankful for my friends and my mom. I used to (struggle) and now I’m getting As and Bs and I’m very excited. I definitely think that Mr. Birrueta and his art program made a difference. I think it made me more expressive. I think I really got engaged with that. Also, my friends – they really support me and accept me for who I am. It’s the same with my mom. I’m very thankful for my mom, I don’t know what I would do without her.”


Parker - Edison

Parker, kindergarten, Edison Elementary School

“I’m thankful for my parents and our baby – my baby brother. He’s 8 months old but he’s still a baby. As a big brother, I have to teach him things. I like him trying to climb on me and love me. That’s what he tries to do.”


Adalyn Tarin - Amistad

Adalyn, second grade, Amistad Elementary School

“Being thankful means you’re happy for something you really appreciate. That’s what thankful means. I’m thankful for my friends, my teacher and my family. My friends – some of them are really funny. They make me laugh all the time. Also, they’re really confident and if I’m scared, they can step up for me. Some of them are really kind and they always have my back. My teacher, Mrs. Davis, is really nice. She teaches us a lot. And my family is loving and caring.”


Riley Leonhardt - Park

Riley, sixth grade, Park Middle School

“I’m thankful for my family and that I have a house and all the things I have. I’m thankful for my teachers because they’re amazing. I’m thankful that I get to travel a lot because my mom’s a travel nurse. I like that I get to travel all around the United States. I have technically gone to all the United States, except four. I like that I get to meet new friends and have fun while I do it.”


Yoselin Pimentel - Kennewick High

Yoselin, senior, Kennewick High School

“I’m thankful for the people who are around me right now. Senior year has been the best year. Not only am I having fun, but I’m achieving my goals and maintaining my grades and attendance. I really want to go to college. At the end of middle school is when I really got serious. I was like, ‘Yes, I want to go to college.’ A lot of the staff here (at Kennewick High) have really encouraged me to go into law. I think that’s a really good idea because I know it’s going to take 100 percent of me, so it’s going to make me push myself to be the best. I’m thankful for Ms. Payson, my counselor and advisor, and Ms. Martinez, assistant principal. A lot of my teachers over the years have really helped me and pushed me in many different ways in different classes. They’ve helped me learn so many things that I didn’t know about myself.”


Alice - Edison

Alice, third grade, Edison Elementary School

“I am thankful for family and friends, of course, and for the earth and animals, and for the freedom that I get to have as an American. I could keep on going, but it would be about an hour long. I’m thankful for a lot of things.”


Kassandra Menjivar

Kassandra, sixth grade, Horse Heaven Hills Middle School

“I’m thankful for my family. My dad helps me with math and my mom helps me with ELA (English Language Arts). If I have a lot of homework, my mom stays up with me until I finish. School is important to them because my parents want to give me and my brother good opportunities. I want to be a mechanical engineer. I like math and I like building things.”


Veronica Kim - Westgate

Veronica, fifth grade, Westgate Elementary School

“I’m thankful for my family, and that I have some awesome friends. They’re kind and they help me out and I can talk to them. And I’m thankful that I became a house leader at my school, and that other students have accepted me as a leader. Being a house leader means that you lead other people to do the right thing. I’m also thankful for Ms. Ronck-Curry, the assistant principal, and Mr. Kern, the top principal. I’m thankful that my teacher, Mr. Becker, teaches me lots of math so I will have a good time in middle school and won’t struggle.”


Nora Chavez - Legacy

Nora Chavez, attendance secretary, Legacy High School

“Every day, Mrs. Holmes will come and tell me how great I am. Every single day. And Mrs. Nuxoll, also. It makes me feel good. I just love working here. Every day, I wake up in the morning and I’m never like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to go to work.’ I wake up in the morning and I’m ready to go to work. I’m happy here.”


Kendra - Edison

Kendra, fifth grade, Edison Elementary School

“I’m thankful for school. I’m thankful for friends and for learning. I hate math but it’s also my favorite and I’m thankful for it. It’s (a challenging subject) and it feels good when you get it.”


Yuriy Nahornyy - Westgate

Yuriy, fifth grade, Westgate Elementary School

“I’m thankful for my teacher, Mr. Skeels. He helps you out and gets you to become more mature. I’m in fifth grade and next year I’m going to be in middle school. He’s preparing me, letting me know how teachers are going to be in middle school.”


Makai Garza - Legacy

Makai, senior, Legacy High School

“I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful for being able to live my life the way I want to live it. I’m thankful for this school for helping me (get ready to) graduate. I’m thankful for my dog because he’s cute. My family is very chaotic and big and wild and crazy. I love them. I have a support system. I have people around me who I can go to and talk about things that I need to talk about. It’s nice to have that feeling that you have something like that. I’m a go-getter, I work a lot. I work on stocks, I have a business with my mom. I’m an inventor. I like this school because they have accepted me here. There are a lot of caring people here. I like that a lot.”


McKenzie Kennedy - Westgate

McKenzie Kennedy, paraeducator, Westgate Elementary School

“In my job, I see every student every single day. They’re always making me laugh, making me smile and crack up. I’m very thankful for that. And I’m thankful for all the support that I get in my job. My job is to support the teachers, but it’s nice that at Westgate, it works both ways – the teachers are supporting us as we’re supporting them. It’s a very positive environment. At Westgate, we’re welcoming and accepting. We don’t bring someone down because they may look different or talk different than us. It’s a very positive culture.”


Ethyn Trimble

Ethyn, sixth grade, Horse Heaven Hills Middle School

“I’m thankful for all the teachers who are trying their hardest to do their best work for us.  They’re trying their hardest for us.”