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Around Our Town...Outstanding Educators...Cool Kids


02/01/2005 - "Cool Kids" are often sculpted by "Outstanding Educators". Case in point: Elizabeth DeWitt and her Natrona County Superstars, Fatima Todd, Ashley Belcher,

JJ Cordonier, Trent McAteer, Des Bennion and Tom Hentzen.

The Natrona County Superstar Program is a positive peer pressure approach to living an alchohol-free, and drug-free lifestyle. High school Superstars serve as roll models and mentors for elementary students. Superstars are pictured on trading cards along with information such as their GPA's and extracurricular activities. Each Superstar also signs an oath, stating he/she will stay away from drugs and alcohol.

Elementary students, in turn, receive these trading cards as kudos for a job well done. The featured Superstar then visits the elementary student's class. The program works both ways as the mentors are motivated to remain worthy of their role.

The community also celebrates it's Superstars by rewarding them with various discounts. Alternative activities, such as movie nights, roller skating, sledding, and renting the recreation center for some basketball are examples of other rewards.

The mastermind behind this excellent program is Elizabeth DeWitt, our educator whose efforts on behalf of her students and our community is nothing short of outstanding. Elizabeth was inspired by a formal social studies teacher, Phil Robertson, of Cody High school. Mr. Robertson also worked with troubled youths and asked Elizabeth to help tutor them. She truly enjoyed the experience.

Elizabeth also visited Washington, D.C., on a Close-up Foundation trip – a program which enables students to observe our government in action, "close up". She was "hooked" and now teaches various history/social studies classes at KWHS and UW Casper Campus.

"I try to teach students skills they don't already have and push them beyond their comfort zone. Sometimes I take them kicking and screaming all the way. The greatest reward is when they realize how much they've learned."

Elizabeth describes her greatest challenge as an educator: "My concern is for those kids who don't know why they are in school, who see it as a big hassle. It just breaks your heart."

Thank you Mrs. Dewitt and Natrona County Superstars for your contribution to our community.

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