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February 05, 2024

Students Receive AHA’s ‘Valentine’

Some of the kindest students at the Academy of the Holy Angels have received the Sister Catherine Green Kindness Award for their inspirational attitudes. Those honored during Catholic Schools Week include AHA Middle School students Emma Kottke, Alba Jackson, and Ella Menapace; and AHA Upper School students Nataly Jane Perales, Amaris Hiatt, Lily Lehman, and Aiko Chang.


Each of these students reflects the kindness for which S. Catherine Green was known. S. Catherine, a School Sister of Notre Dame, was a beloved member of the AHA Religious Studies Department from 1982-2014. She is remembered for being an attentive listener with a ready smile and a nurturing spirit.


Sixth grader Emma Kottke was recognized for her joyful, honest, supportive, and kind nature. Classmates say she puts others before herself, and always knows how to make other people smile when they are having a difficult day. A teacher recently saw Kottke leave her own lunch table to sit with another Angel who was having lunch alone.


Alba Jackson, the seventh grade’s winner, has a knack for making other people feel at ease. Classmates say she is always supportive and willing to share with others. Jackson is known for being respectful, considerate, and ready to lend a helping hand. Someone shared that she quietly takes care of others without bringing attention to herself.


Ella Menapace, a member of the eighth grade, is described as being smart, sweet, kind, and “super funny.” A classmate shared that Menapace is empathetic and able brighten any bad mood. Teachers know Menapace as a willing volunteer who takes time to help others even if she is pressed for time. Classmates appreciate the way she lights up a room and shares her school supplies with others.


Ninth grader Nataly Jane Perales was honored for being a kind, compassionate, genuine, and welcoming person who is never without a smile. Friends say she brightens the mood and always looks on the positive side of things.


“She is always able to cheer people up with her happy energy and contagious laugh,” one person wrote. “I am so happy to have met her this year because school wouldn’t be the same without her kindness and positivity!”


Friends appreciate her honesty and concern for others’ well-being. They say she is a great friend who makes the Class of 2027 brighter.


Amaris Hiatt’s friends say this sophomore is the embodiment of the word “selfless.” Her kind, sincere nature and friendly smile make the day for everyone around her. She is also known for being supportive, funny, and generous.


“She is always willing to lend a helping hand while consistently exuding patience and warmth,” a classmate said, adding that Hiatt is one of the kindest souls she has ever met.


“She is a genuine, inclusive, and loving friend,” others added.


Another person shared, “She inspires me daily to take a step back and see the bigger picture of how my actions impact others. Her positive attitude is a constant reminder that kindness is a simple thing that can have a major effect on others.”


“Loyal, honest, trustworthy, and selfless” are a few of the ways friends view junior Lily Lehman. A friend pointed out that Lehman “has a welcoming and loving presence about her. She has one of the kindest souls and always offers a helping hand.”


A classmate wrote, “She is always checking in to make sure her classmates and friends are doing OK. She is inclusive, genuine, and welcoming. She is always happy to make new friends and her constant smile is contagious.”


Someone described Lehman as “the definition of kind.” Multiple people said they are grateful to have her in their lives and that she is a “true representation of an angel among us.”


Aiko Chang is always willing to help others, including friends, classmates, teachers, and staff. Someone said this selfless and kind AHA senior “genuinely wants good things for her classmates and friends and actively tries to help make others know they belong here.”


A friend wrote that she exudes positivity.


“Even when she isn’t having the best day herself, she always makes time to check in with others and see how their day is going. She is compassionate, helpful, and kind-hearted,” a classmate said.


Friends say they are lucky to know her.


“She has helped make my high school years so special,” one person shared.