10 Hamilton residents recognized as ‘Heroes of Character’

HAMILTON — Steve Lippert, chair of Hamilton’s City of Character committee, addressed the importance of residents displaying positive leadership in their communities.

“Everybody knows this country and this community needs good character and needs more good character,” Lippert said during Wednesday’s City Council meeting. “We love celebrating great stories.”

Then 10 Hamilton residents, students in the school system and adults in the workplace, were recognized by the City Council and presented certificates from Mayor Pat Moeller.

They were honored earlier this year along with 29 adult and student “Heroes of Character” from the Tri-State area who were selected through a nomination process that begins every fall.

Moeller said it was important to recognize the local “Heroes of Character” again before City Council members and their family and friends.

The winners were divided into six categories: Winning Attitude, Tireless Volunteers, Positive Influencers, Above and Beyond, Proactive Problem Solvers, and Overcomers of Adversity.

Here are the local winners:

Winning Attitude

Kaison Baldwin, a fourth-grader at Linden Elementary, displays an attitude of hard work and never gives up, whether in the classroom or on the football field, Moeller said. His teachers said Kaison has the “highest level of integrity, chooses the correct path to follow even when it is challenging, and is loyal to himself and his friends,” Moeller said, reading from the program.

Felia Benissan, a fifth-grader at Linden, was unable to attend the City Council meeting. She demonstrates “compassion toward others, and her enthusiasm and zest for learning and life are contagious to all who are around her,” according to the program.

Hudon Lewis, who attends preschool, was described as “caring, compassionate, positive, and helpful,” Moeller said.

He said one day Hudson’s father was waiting for him after the morning preschool class. About halfway to the car, Hudson turned around and walked back to the building, Moeller said. He held the door open for everyone, Moeller said.

Bailey Zellner, a fourth-grader at Linden, received an ultimate compliment from her teacher, who said she “makes us all laugh, and our lives are all a little brighter because she is in it,” Moeller said

Positive Influencers

Tim Brown is “Safe and Secure Monitor” at Linden. He goes above his duties as a monitor and serves as a mentor for several students. When students are having a difficult time, he listens to them and tries to understand their concerns while speaking words of encouragement and wisdom about life, and they listen, according to the program.

Colton Gorsuch, a sixth-grader at Bridgeport, gives his time and support without expecting anything in return, “uplifting those in need and inspiring others to embrace the spirit of giving,” according to the program.

Michelle Konerman, assistant principal at Linden, previously served as a third-grade teacher and literacy coach. Her co-workers recognize Konerman for her integrity, positive outlook, and initiative in working toward “a culture of sincerity and trust,” the program read.

In describing her ongoing impact at the school, the following words and phrases were frequently used: exemplary passion, commitment, unwavering dedication, and selfless devotion, according to the program.

Kaitlyn Jasper Roberts, sophomore Hamilton High School, was described by her teacher as “the student you could count on to work with any other student in the classroom. She accepts everyone.”

She recently completed a refugee and immigrant project where she made 22 Build-A-Bears with a sign that said, “You Matter.”

She has volunteered over 100 hours a year for the last three years, earning her the Presidential Medal of Service. She advocates for mental health education and suicide prevention and was chosen to serve on the Executive Board of the Corn Stand Festival, an organization that raises money for suicide prevention, Moeller said.

Proactive Problem Solvers

Logan Pickett, a senior at Hamilton, has been helping others since he was 6, Moeller said. He has donated toiletry boxes to tornado victims, blankets to hurricane victims, and purchased Christmas gifts for those less fortunate

When he was 12, his grandmother introduced him to the Hamilton Dream Center, a local ministry. Over the years, he has raised over $25,000 to purchase gifts, which he wraps and helps hand out to the children.

Above and Beyond

Jonathan Frost, director of lifestyle at Berkeley Square, a senior community, knows all 300 residents by name and is aware of what is happening in each person’s life, according to the program.

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