Every week in partnership with the Tulare County Office of Education, we tell stories about South Valley students with great character.
Christy Dawes-Hansen ‘s class at Waukena Joint Union School District in Tulare has a bunch of spirited and smart kids.
Instead of a teacher nomination, this fourth grade class took it upon themselves to nominate their own Character Counts winner, and they choose classmate Natalya Ruelas.
“She always tries to look out for everybody. When she sees somebody hurt she says, ‘What happened?’, because she is quite worried about them,” Natalya’s classmate, Jose Magana Diaz said.
A word that all the kids have to say about Natalya is fair.
“If I am fair to them, they they will be fair to me, ” 4th grader, Natalya Ruelas said.
When asked where she learned fairness:
“My parents. They are really fair. My Mom especially. She has been through a lot of things and she is really fair.”
It’s Natalya’s character that has inspired some of her classmates, to be better, and to always be the bigger person.
“She is a good student, she has good grades, she cares about her family and friends,” fellow classmate Alison Barcenas said about Natalya. “She has good manners, and we got that from her, she is also a very nice person, we also got that from her.”
No matter what is thrown Natalya’s way, she has blossomed into a mature 4th grader and a leader in the classroom.
“Even just over the year she has grown a lot and being accepted by her peer is exciting, of course, but to see the other kids respond to her and accept her and she accepts them is rewarding to see,” Natalya’s teacher, Christy Dawes-Hansen said.
She plays fair, she takes turn, and she treats her fellow students with respect.
Her classmate Jose adds:
“Natalya gives lots of kindness to everybody, she says thank you, and she doesn’t argue a lot.”
Natalya Ruelas of Waukena Joint Union School District shows us why Your Character Matters.