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Student in the Spotlight — Ella Stalzer

St. Francis student is a ‘fantastic role model’

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS - St. Francis first-grader Ella Stalzer stands with her favorite music class instrument: a set of Lummi Sticks.

St. Francis Catholic School first-grader Ella Stalzer is a quiet student, but her positive impact on her classmates has not gone unnoticed.

“The great thing about Ella is when things get tough for her, she doesn’t stress out,” said St. Francis teacher Stephanie Ricken. “She’s a rule-follower, she is a friend to everyone in the classroom.”

When Ella is at school, she said her favorite class is music.

“We get to learn how to play instruments,” she said.

Specifically, Ella said her favorite instrument is a set of Lummi Sticks. The colorful sticks can be struck or rubbed together to make different noises.

Ella said she also enjoys her religion class.

“Sometimes, we get to listen to the Bible,” she said of her favorite part of that class.

No matter the class, Ricken said Ella provides her fellow students with a model of good behavior.

“She’s a fantastic role model,” Ricken said.

She said one of Ella’s best traits is her willingness to lead by example. If another student is doing something wrong, Ricken said Ella will model the right behavior.

“I find that so fascinating that a first grader can be such a positive model in that way,” Ricken said.

When she’s not at school, Ella said she enjoys quiet activities at home.

“I like to play games. I like board games, like Monopoly,” she said.

Playing card games like Go Fish and reading are other ways she said she likes to spend her time.

Ricken said students like Ella often don’t get the credit they deserve for their good behavior. She said Ella deserves the praise she gets.

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Contact Adam Sodders at

(641) 753-6611 or

asodders@timesrepublican.com