"Character... it starts with Samuel." - Nancy Croskey
At their their annual gala on November 7, at the Manor House in Mason, the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will honor Samuel Wenger, a 2011-2012 6th grader from Loveland Intermediate School. Samuel, and four other students from Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will be designated as “Kids of Character.”
Former Loveland teacher, Nancy Croskey taught Samuel in fourth grade and wrote a nomination letter for him. She said, that he is an exemplary student who consistently displays outstanding character. “He embodies the Character Council's motto, ‘Character... It Starts With Me.” Croskey said in the letter that Samuel’s benevolence is something Samuel shows each and every day. He sizes up a situation quickly seeing what he can do to help.
Croskey described how Samuel deliberately and quickly made friends with a fellow classmate who is developmentally delayed. He befriended him immediately giving freely of his own time by including him at lunch, at recess and in the classroom. Samuel is one of the more popular kids at school... one who has many friends, yet, he would make sure his new friend had someone to sit with at lunch and play with on the playground often encouraging his classmates to join them. If no one else played with them, that was OK with Samuel. “It's their loss,” he would say. By mid-year, classmates were seeking him out in the classroom, at recess and lunch. “This was due to Samuel,” said Croskey,
“This leads me to the Compassion Samuel displayed,” said Croskey. He would use their time together to teach the rules of kickball or any other game they might be playing while also going to the restroom with him to show him how to wash his face. He would be heard saying, “ I have spaghetti on my face. Come with me to the restroom so I can clean it off.” He would see what Samuel was doing, notice his own face and clean it. Samuel would use the strategy until his friend was cleaning his own face independently.
Samuel also helped with his friend’s, sensory diet. Each and every morning despite the time it took and any free time he might miss, Samuel made sure the two of them made it to the hallway to complete a series of prescribed exercises. If he didn't work hard enough, Samuel redid the routine with him. Samuel was the only student he trusted enough to share the routine.
Jason Bruce, Loveland Middle School Teacher said, "Samuel is the type of student you want and need to have in class. He always brings a smile, great sense of humor, and a wonderful work ethic. He knows when to be goofy and have fun, but also when it is time to get down to work."
Garth Carlier, Principal Loveland Intermediate School said, “What separates Sam from other students is not the fact the he is top notch academically, but the fact that he makes a constant effort to include everyone. Sam’s positive disposition influences all aspects of school. Sam is creating a path for future students to make a difference for everyone at Loveland Intermediate and Loveland Middle School."
Croskey also said that Samuel cared for other students as well. In Student Council, Samuel was the one who always sat at a table where someone was sitting alone or had the student join his group. In Runner's Club, if a student was struggling to finish the run or seemed lonely, it was Samuel who would break apart from the pack to join him or her despite what it might do to his own time.
The Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky is a nonprofit, organization founded in 2000. The Council is devoted to promoting good character in order to improve the lives of residents and enrich the spirit of our community.
NFL Hall of Fame former Bengals Offensive Lineman Anthony Muñoz will again be the keynote speaker. WCPO-TV Chief Meteorologist Steve Raleigh will serve as emcee. Paul Daugherty, sports columnist for The Enquirer will serve as special guest speaker.
Croskey summed up Samuel, “The examples used above could be described in similar instances regarding Samuel's interactions with others... peers or adults. Character... it starts with Samuel.”