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Hope of America and Distinguished Service awards presented at Kenwood School, Bob Bales retires

Hope of America and Distinguished Service awards presented at Kenwood School, Bob Bales retires

By Charles Ensley

Kenwood Elementary School held its end-ofyear assembly on Monday, June 7. In order to allow students and family members to view the presentations, it was held via Zoom for the first time. The Kiwanis Club of Oakmont presented their annual four Hope of America awards for best citizenship, participation in class, and future leadership. The awardees, chosen by their teachers, were fifth graders Sara Asker and Robbie Eubank, and sixth graders Isabella Rodriguez and Finn White. Sixth-grade teacher Mrs. Morrisey selected Isabella “Izzy” Boyle for a special achievement award for highest GPA in the class and for overall class participation.

“The sixth grade is a transitional year for students, and sometimes the path to finding out who you are can start to seem a little more difficult. This last year-and-a-half have been trying for all of us, but these students continued to show up whether our class was virtual, hybrid, or in-person, with positive attitudes, great work ethics, and a flexibility that was amazing,” said Morrissey.

Bob Bales retires

A surprise presentation was made to Principal/Superintendent Bob Bales, who is retiring June 30 after 23 years at Kenwood School. Kiwanis past-president Charlie Ensley outlined all the activities the Kiwanis Club has supported at the school. Current president Jim Stewart presented the Distinguished Service Award on behalf of the Oakmont Club and the Cal- Nev-Ha Kiwanis Foundation to Mr. Bales, a long-time member of the Oakmont Kiwanis Club. The award recognizes the many contributions the recipient has made to the community and its children, fulfilling the Kiwanis goal of “improving the world one child and one community at a time.”

Due partly to Mr. Bales’ membership in Kiwanis during his tenure as principal, Oakmont Kiwanis has served twice-yearly as “Reading Buddies” to first or fourth graders, collected for the Thanksgiving Redwood Empire Food Bank drive, made donations for LEGO robotics, the STEAM program, and purchased dictionaries for second graders. In addition to providing the annual Hope of America awards, club members financially supported the Kenwood Education, the Big Heart Award and the sixth-grade spaghetti feed to fund their week of outdoor education.

Photo provided by Tracey RodriguesMeet Isabella Rodrigues: She was new to Kenwood this year. In a normal year, starting sixth grade at a new school is a daunting task at best. Isabella jumped right in and participated in class right from the first day. She paid close attention to the lessons but also to her fellow students. She was able to start making friends even while we were in Zoom class. I am so happy for her that she finally got to meet everyone in person in April. She managed to take a difficult situation at the best of times and turn it around to create good memories for herself and her new friends. She is calm and patient and respectful and easily adapted to our class. Congratulations, Isabella!

Photo by Beverly SingerKiwanians Charlie Ensley, Jim Stewart, honoring Kenwood Elementary School principal/superintendent, Bob Bales with an award to acknowledge his service to the children of Sonoma Valley upon his retirement.