She’s a Top Dawg

Once a semester, Harrisburg Middle and High School students are nominated by teachers to receive the “Top Dawg” award. This award recognizes not only the students’  achievement but also their character.

This month, during the Spring 2016 Top Dawg awards ceremony, a teen girl from The Zimmer Home was one of the twelve students to receive this honor! Mr. VanDeZande (better known as Coach V) nominated her for the award, and had some wonderful things to say about Leann* during the awards ceremony:

“Normally a teacher doesn’t nominate a student for the Top Dawg award until they’ve been around them in the classroom for a year or two. But Leann has made such a marked improvement in the five short months that I’ve known her, that I wanted to nominate her.

When Leann first showed up in my class, her attitude was distant and she seemed unconcerned with her school work. She was easily distracted by what the other students were doing and really wanted to fit in and follow the crowd. But over these few months, I’ve watched her become self-motivated and hard working. She’s now ignoring distractions and other students’ drama, and just focusing on doing the best that she can.”


*name changed for sake of confidentiality

Leann’s Home Parent Mom, Rachel Howell, concludes, “She was nervous and shy about standing in front of everyone, receiving the award. But she was SUPER excited about it. She’s heard Al and I and her therapist tell her that we’re seeing improvements, but to have someone at school also acknowledge it so openly was extremely rewarding for her. This award really means a lot to her.”