Superintendent’s Spotlight: Jayden Connolly


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Jayden Connolly

June 1, 2023

Park Avenue fourth grader Jayden Connolly does a lot! She plays clarinet In the Park Avenue Band (credit to Squidward as an early influence), volunteers around town (including the Humane Society), conducts her own ornithological field research, is an avid reader and writer, loves her studies (especially in in science, art and English) and is Treasurer of the Park Avenue Student Council. But no matter what she’s doing, where or when, Jayden always has her eyes open for opportunities to lend someone a hand.

“I don’t really know where it comes from, but I just want to help other people,” Jayden shared, with an enthusiastic shrug. “I want to help… anything! I just want to be a good part of the world.”

Jayden’s teacher, Ms. Julie Hornbeck, said Jayden exhibits a drive to be the type of person that PBS’s Mr. Rogers famously referred to as “helpers.”

“She’s a wonderful young lady! A hard worker who always comes in with a smile and has kindness for everyone,” said Ms. Hornbeck. “She wants to make a difference and she does so much great work for our school and for the community. You just can’t say enough about Jayden’s friendly demeanor and helpfulness.”

Opportunities to help others is what led Jayden to run for her position on Student Council. She said that she’d heard a lot of good things about the council during her previous four years of elementary school, and thought that being part of it would be a nice way to serve her class and community.

“I just felt like that was a good way I could help people, and to be a good example to others,” she said. “So, I joined. Then I got elected Treasurer!”

Jayden certainly got what she was hoping for with Student Council, and has enjoyed being part of a number of service projects this year. Her favorite projects have been Wreaths Across America, which the council did in the fall/winter, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which they did in May.

“We put wreaths on top of the graves of veterans, and I just really enjoyed supporting the people who helped our country,” said Jayden. “Then, we had two lemonade stands – one at the Makers Market and one was in town – and people would donate as much money as they wanted, and then we sent it to cancer researchers trying to find a cure to childhood cancer.”

When Jayden takes time for herself, she enjoys reading and writing fiction in the fantasy genre and creating her own art. She also loves exploring her own research topics.

“Right now I’m researching birds,” said Jayden about the home study she’s got going on in her family’s yard. “We put up a bird feeder and lot of birds came. I really like birds and how they look, so I thought it would be fun to be able to identify them when I see one. We have a ruby neck hummingbird at my house now.”

Looking ahead to middle school, Jayden said she’s excited to volunteer for WVMS Student Council and to get involved with the art club. As for the remainder of this year?

“The fourth grade moving up ceremony; I’m really excited for that,” Jayden said. “And I’m really excited for everything that’s coming up over the summer, too.”

And beyond that, Jayden said she is interested in a career in the engineering field — while possibly selling her art as “a side hustle” — and, of course, continuing to do a lot of volunteering when she’s older.


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