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    Erie's Public Schools Student Stairclimber Awards


    Erie's Public Schools strives to always celebrate the success of our students. As part of that initiative, the Stairclimber Award is presented monthly at regular School Board meetings (from October through May) to one student from each building, recognizing their tenacity, grit and perseverance toward making improvements in their ABC's -- Attendance, Behavior and Classroom Performance.

    The EPS Stairclimber Award, which stems from PA School Climate Data feedback and Strategic Plan Survey results, supports our district-wide movement of School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (SWPBIS).



    Meet our May 2022 Stairclimbers!



     Photo of Ryheem Elverton, Ken Nickson Jr., and family members

    Ryheem Elverton, Wilson Middle School, 7th grade 

    "Ryheem ... is a pleasure to be around for all the staff in the building and is always willing to help any person that he can."


     Photo of Isabella Gomez, family members, and Principal C.J. Huffman

    Isabella Gomez, Lincoln Elementary School, 2nd grade

    "Isabella has shown amazing growth academically. In the beginning of the year she had trouble with reading but now she is just blooming. She has grown so much in her decoding and we are really proud of her and the effort she has put into her learning. Way to go Isabella!"


     Photo of Paul Kani and Associate Dean Katie Church-Rivera

    Paul Kani, Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, 9th grade

    "Paul has dramatically improved his school attendance and his overall academic GPA this year. He often comes to extra help and utilizes other supports within our school to improve his grades! We are very proud of him and all that he has done to better himself in our school!"


    Photo of Ava Nicks, family member and Assistant Principal Dennis Carner

    Ava Nicks, Grover Cleveland Elementary School, 2nd grade

    "Ava is a dynamic class leader and model citizen at Grover Cleveland. She is always working hard, her grades are stellar, and her positive attitude is contagious. Ava is a positive role model and class leader. She consistently thinks of others and works hard for her grades. Ava is so interested and in touch with her grades that she immediately asks me what her grade was right after a test. That is a very admirable quality for a second-grade student to possess. We are so proud of her accomplishments and know the sky is the limit for her future."


    Photo of Jelianys Reyes-Rivera, family member, and Principal Dana Suppa

    Jelianys Reyes-Rivera, McKinley Elementary School, Kindergarten

    "Jelianys has grown so much this year in all three areas. She is ready for first grade and is an excellent Mariner! Way to go, Jelianys! You make us all proud!"


    Photo of Yadnian Marrero Rivera, family members, and Principal Tim Sabol

    Yadnian Marrero Rivera, Diehl Elementary School, 2nd grade 

    "Yadnian has consistently demonstrated what a caring and helpful young learner looks like, inside and outside of the classroom. He truly has become a role model for the other students in second grade and is an excellent leader. Yadnian’s positive attitude and perseverance to do his best in all his classes is inspiring to others."


    Photo of Braydon Szocki, family members, and Ken Nickson, Jr.

    Braydon Szocki, JoAnna Connell Elementary School, 5th grade

    "Braydon came to us mid-year and immediately fit in. He always has a smile on his face, and his personality are uplifting to our classroom and school. Braydon is hardworking and always willing to help out in anyway. He is a good friend and works well in any group. He excels in math and his favorite teacher is Mr. Babay. He loves to play basketball and watch TV. Connell is very lucky to have Braydon."


    Photo of Jimmy Weiss, family members, Principal Gloystein, and Assistant Principals Basile and Koval.

    Jimmy Weiss, Strong Vincent Middle School, 6th grade

    "A wise man once said, "The best way to predict your future is to create it." Sixth grade Colonel - - Jimmy Weiss -- not only understands these powerful words - - he lives them each and every day at Strong Vincent. His academic tenacity, thirst for knowledge, and unparalleled engagement made him a unanimous choice for this month's recognition. Jimmy - - you make us all want to be better students, teachers, and principals. Simply put - - YOU ROCK! With courage, he conquers."


    Photo of Derrick Zappia, family members, and Assistant Principal Jeff Yonkers.

    Derrick Zappia, Harding Elementary School, 1st grade

    "Derrick Zappia is a first-grade student in Mrs. Sampsell’s class. Derrick has always been a friendly, polite, and kind student but he has shown tremendous growth in his academics. Derrick always tries his best and has a positive attitude and even if he finds something challenging, he does not give up. Derrick always participates in class and is focused on his learning. He is also exceptionally kind toward others. Derrick always has something nice to say to those around him and is often helping tie his peers' shoes or offering a pencil if someone needs one. Derrick is a great kid and deserves to be recognized for all of his hard work."


    Elijah Benejan, Perry Elementary School, 4th grade (not pictured)

    "Elijah has worked really hard this year to improve his behavior, make good choices, and improve his grades.  On a weekly basis, Elijah exceeds his necessary minutes on Amplify and i-Ready.  He has improved 2 grade levels from his BOY to MOY on i-Ready by 63 points.  He not only met his typical growth, but exceeded the stretch growth!  In reading, he went up 53 points from BOY to MOY.  The most impressive change with Elijah has been his attitude and the choices he makes so he can be successful.  I am so proud of him!"

    La-Osha Carr, Erie's Public Schools Cyber Choice Academy, 12th grade (not pictured)

    "La-Osha has been working super hard lately. She has been in constant contact with me, day and night. She has made her schooling her top priority and is taking the May 20 deadline very seriously. While she struggled with cyber attendance early in the school year, she has not missed her required hours in over two months. I am proud of her efforts and have assured her that if she keeps up at this pace, she will meet her goal of graduation."

    Damaya Carson, Eagle's Nest Program of Academic Distinction, 8th grade (not pictured)

    "Damya has turned a corner and shown improvement in all areas. She has shown that she has a willingness to learn and has committed herself to being better in school."

    J.R. Laughary, Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School, Kindergarten (not pictured)

    "JR is a kindergarten student in Mrs. Stellwagon's classroom. JR began his schooling experience with a very reactive personality. He has come such a long way. JR now takes deep breaths and gives himself space when he is feeling angry or upset. He is one of Mrs. Stellwagon's best helpers in her classroom. He keeps the room clean and takes great pride in assisting new students feel comfortable in their new setting. JR has made tremendous gains with his sounds,colors and letters. He knows a majority of his sounds and is successfully blending words. JR really loves math as well. JR has worked extremely hard this year and always aims to please. Everyone at PB is so proud of JR! Congratulations!"

    Diamond McCloud, East Middle School, 8th grade (not pictured)

    "Diamond has worked hard to make improvements in her grades and attendance here at East. Diamond went from being chronically absent to having perfect attendance for the months of March and April. Diamond has made strides in her academics, increasing her grades in each one of her core classes. Diamond has shown and demonstrated her Warrior Power all year as she has received no behavior referrals. We are proud to share that Diamond has been accepted into Collegiate Academy for 9th grade. Keep up the great work and keep making improvements Diamond!"

    Jamaal Smith, Edison Elementary School, 4th grade (not pictured)

    "Jamaal Smith is the definition of a Stairclimber and is worthy of this recognition. Over the 2021-2022 school year Jamaal has displayed enormous growth as a student and friend in the classroom. He has committed to coming to school on a regular basis and has shown he has the willingness to learn. Jamaal enjoys working in small groups and takes on a leadership role in the small group setting. He regularly volunteers to help with anything from cleaning up messes in the cafeteria to helping students find their way throughout the building. Jamaal can light up a room with his smile and has a wonderful sense of humor! At Edison, Jamaal is a daily reminder to all of us that “Change Happens One Step at a Time”....We are proud of you and believe in you, Jamaal!"

    Nyciere Smith, Erie High School, 9th grade (not pictured)

    "Nyciere has turned it around and is a model Erie High student and leader in the building."

    Jyvonte Williams, Jefferson Elementary School, 5th grade (not pictured)

    "Jyvonte has come a long way in his journey here at Jefferson. He is now a young man who is in control of himself, his choices and, most importantly, his emotions. Jyvonte comes to school every day with a smile on his face. He gets along with all of his peers and is very respectful to all teachers and staff at Jefferson. Jyvonte is making great strides academically. He is on track to reach typical growth in iReady. I am blessed to have him in my class."