Superintendent’s Spotlight: Park Avenue fourth-grader Lyla Sandfort


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Park Avenue fourth-grader Lyla Sandfort

October 21, 2019

Lyla SandfortPark Avenue fourth-grade Lyla Sandfort wants people to know that being helpful and kind are two important attributes everyone should embrace.

She speaks from experience, too, saying these are important qualities she looks to live by every day.

Lyla, who is a Junior Girl Scout, a basketball and soccer player, and a member of Park’s Student Council, believes helpfulness and kindness help make her school and community better places.     

 “If someone is behind in something and needed help, I would help them,” she said. “And if we didn’t help others, then our community wouldn’t be the community we have right now. I like helping, it’s a very nice and important thing to do.”

Jean Laroe, her fourth-grade teacher, noted she immediately saw how Lyla’s character and way of thinking make her classroom a better place.

“Everything everyone says about her is true,” said Mrs. Laroe. “She is extremely helpful and is a huge asset to our class.”

Helpfulness and its important connections

Lyla consistently emphasized the importance of helpfulness and its connections to other important individual qualities.

“Helping is important because if you don’t help, then you’re not the nicest person,” she said. “To help is also important because it shows that you’re kind and generous. Plus, helping is kind of fun, too. It will also help you to feel good about yourself.”

Denise Kipp, who was her third-grade teacher, said Lyla was always a hard worker in her class and, without a doubt, remains a wonderful role model.

“She cares deeply about the quality of her work and her work ethic is impeccable,” said Mrs. Kipp. “She cares about her relationships with other kids. She’s very humble.  You don’t see this too often in young children.”

Lyla is the oldest of the three girls in her family, Mrs. Kipp explained, and lives on a small farm.

“I know how responsible she is around the house and farm,” her former teacher said. “And she is very respectful of the school and its teachers. She’s a role model in terms how she socializes with others and her work ethic.”

‘You should always try your best.’ 

Lyla SandfortLyla, who is considering becoming a kindergarten teacher someday, felt working hard and putting one’s best effort into that work does make a difference.

“You should always try your best,” she stressed.  “And, even if you don’t like someone, you should always try to be nice.”

Lyla’s belief is that learning helpful skills can be beneficial as students grow older.

“Being an adult is hard,” she said. You have to do a lot of stuff. You have to pay for things. If you learn this now, it will help you later on.”

Mrs. Kipp felt Lyla’s personality and perspective on life is an example for others.

“Lyla shows us what life is all about — caring for others,” she added. “What you give, you get back.  She’s conscientious, sweet and an all-around great kid.”  

Each week, Warwick Valley Central School District Superintendent Dr. David Leach shines his “Superintendent’s Spotlight” on one of Warwick Valley’s amazing students. “Superintendent’s Spotlight” features students who reach goals, achieve accomplishments,  face challenges and/or are role models to their peers.







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