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Student in the Spotlight — Riley Edwards

Lenihan student a ‘bright light’ in the classroom

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS – Lenihan student Riley Edwards’ favorite intramural sport is volleyball.

Riley Edwards likes doing things that keep her active.

From choir to dance to volleyball, the Lenihan sixth-grader excels in activities as well as being a good classmate.

“I’m an alto,” Riley said of her choir role.

She participated in an honor choir show for Lenihan at Ballard School District late last week.

Music also plays an important role as Riley practices her hip-hop, tap and lyrical dance.

“Hip-hop is more active than tap is. Tap is more on the foot. You have to keep a beat,” she said. “I like being able to interact with people.”

Riley said one challenge when doing dance performances is keeping her individual placement in check while also being aware of her

fellow performers’ positions.

Lenihan’s intramural volleyball is yet another way Riley said she likes to get active. She said she had a lot of fun serving the ball in matches.

When she isn’t hitting the court or the dance floor, Riley said she enjoys spending time with others.

“I like going to my friend’s house. We usually go to the movies or to the Y,” she said.

During the warmer months, Riley said she and her friend go swimming at the Marshalltown Aquatic Center. When that is not an option, she said they happily go swimming at the Marshalltown YMCA’s indoor pool.

Riley said she even gets her younger brother in on the sporting activities. The two often practice baseball skills together, including pitching, catching and batting.

Lenihan paraeducator Ariell Klinefelter said Riley never ceases to amaze in the classroom.

“She is one of the most patient and compassionate students I’ve ever had the privilege to work with,” Ariell said. “She’s the kind of kid who, if we’re picking partners for something, if there’s a kid who isn’t picked as often or is left out, Riley’s the first one to say ‘They can be in our group.'”

She said Riley’s willingness to interact with her fellow students positively creates a good atmosphere in the classroom.

“She’s just a really bright light in the classroom,” Ariell said. “She’s just a joy to be around.”

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Contact Adam Sodders at

(641) 753-6611 or

asodders@timesrepublican.com