Naya Roebke at Worthingway Middle School
When called upon to help out a new student from a foreign country, Worthingway Middle School eighth grader Naya Roebke didn’t take a look at her busy schedule and hesitate. Instead, she happily took the chance to give Ruth Nodjitan a hand with her Math studies, along with acclimating to life at a new school.
“Principal (Nathan) Kellenberger approached me and said there’s a girl who needed some help in math,” Roebke said. “I try to be able to help when I can.”
Nodjitan entered this country from the Central African Republic in the beginning of 2015, and is still learning the English language, but Roebke has had a positive influence. She’s helped her with more than just Math. Roebke has been there for Nodjitan as she’s made the transition.
“I’ve seen her open up a little bit more to the school,” Roebke said, “and I think my time with her has helped with that.”
Kellenberger and his staff put extra faith in those students who prove themselves trustworthy and exemplary. More often than not, that trust pays off.
“Naya is someone who just embodies kind of what we stand for, in terms of respect,” Kellenberger explained. “I knew Naya’s maturity, helpfulness and care would go a long way toward helping the young lady who is new to our country acclimate and fit in.”
The fact Worthingway offers an environment that helps all students is important to Kellenberger.
“The most powerful thing is she’s a youngster sitting in a classroom with seventh graders, working with a student and no one says, ‘Why are you doing that? What are you doing?’” he said. “It’s just kind of what we do here. It embodies what we do in trying to help our kids.”