PUTNAM COUNTY — Three Kalida students were honored last week with the
Putnam County Optimist Character Award. The students included Jeffrey
Knueve, Tara Gerding and Bailey Eickholt. All three were nominated by
Kalida High School Principal Chris Pfahler.
Knueve is a senior and
does volunteering at the elementary almost every day. While there he
assists the kindergarten teachers with activities for the students.
said in the last few years he was an aide to the cafeteria and helped
tutor others students with their classwork. These activities take place
during his study halls.
“Jeffrey is a 4.0 student that is very
involved in the extra-curricular activities of KHS,” Pfahler said. “He
is currently the President of the Cats who Care Organization.
is a junior at Kalida High School. “She is a very giving student,”
Pfahler said saying that every day she goes to the elementary and helps
with the students in various activities.
“Tara works one-on-one
with the kindergarten students helping with whatever skill I ask her
to,” said Nancy Kaufman. “From tying shoes to alphabet sounds to
counting to 100. Tara is a natural teacher and finds different ways to
to help each child if they can’t get it.”
Gerding also tutors a
group of students in the Middle School and helps them with homework or
studying issues. She also is involved with Kalida St. Michael’s Church
as a mass server and a lector at weekend masses.
Gerding is a member of the KHS Student Council, KHS volleyball team and the Cats Who Care Organization.
”She is a helpful, thoughtful student who shines with ambition in a quiet, non-descript way,” Pfahler said.
is an office aide in Kalida High School and is responsible for reading
the daily announcements each morning over the public address system.
“She does any errand we assign her with willingness and pep,” Pfahler said.
maintains a 4.0 grade average while busy with many outside activities.
She is on the KHS Student Council, Cats Who Care Organization, Kalida
Recycling Committee and the KHS Cross Country and Track teams.
said Bailey is the vice president of the Kalida Honor Society and a
member of the Academic Club. She is also a teacher aide to two different
“After school hours, she donates time to the Challenged
Champions Equestrian Therapy group in Ottawa and also volunteers at the
local nursing home for four hours a week,” Pfahler said.