Dunbar School fifth grader Maxwell Deane Savage has been named Student of the Year for 2016-2017. Max’s kindergarten teacher describes him as an endearing student with an easy going nature and a big smile. He has been on the honor roll in fourth and fifth grade; he is a GATE student; he plays in the school band; and he serves in the Leadership class. One of Max’s outstanding qualities, according to Dunbar staff, is his respect for others. Max’s first grade teacher, Nora Alexander-Short, later became his fourth grade teacher. She said that Max’s “joy of learning is contagious” and “listening to Max explain his thinking to the class is a joy for the whole classroom.” His current teacher, Christina Sanders, notes Max’s ability to work on his own or on a team and his ability work well with everyone. Max’s mother, Michelle Mammini, and aunt, Jeannette Tomany, operate the Republic of Thrift, and his family is a constant at school events. According to Principal Melanie Blake, Max’s family is a great school partner and a wonderful example of how working together helps students succeed.

Dunbar Student of the Year Abby Christine Sparks lives up to her nickname, “Sparks,” as she has been a spark of life since day one. Dunbar staff say that Abby embodies all the attributes that they look for when selecting a student to represent Dunbar for this honor. Abby excels in school and has been on the honor roll in fourth and fifth grade. She is in the leadership class and participates in Dunbar’s voice-in-writing program and reads the weekly school bulletin over the loudspeaker. Her teachers say that Abby’s true strength and character shine in her treatment of others, that she is always ready with a helping hand, a hand up, or a hand to hold. She is described as a born leader who jumps to take on tasks with organization and determination. Abby participates in the ACES afterschool program at Dunbar, she plays basketball for the Boys & Girls Club and she was a Girl Scout for five years. Abby’s mother, Jenny, is an instructional assistant and campus supervisor at Dunbar and the family are active volunteers at the school.

This article is the fifth in a series about the Students of the Year named at each Sonoma school district campus.