"To see the joy on these kid's faces, to see the love and appreciation they have for their teachers, and to be able to recognize them means everything," said CBS President and General Manager Steve Mauldin after celebrating LAUSD's Student and Teacher of the Month on Wednesday, April 25, at Cowan Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Known for his critical thinking ability, 6th grader Andrew Butler enjoys drawing and illustrating comic books. He's also a trained pianist who excels in math and science and enjoys helping his peers solve problems in the classroom. In front of an assembly filled with students, teachers and district representatives, Butler was praised for his work ethic and talents prior to being announced as LAUSD's Student of the Month.
"I don't do it for a reward or anything like that," said a humble Butler. "I really just like helping people."
After working in the banking industry for a decade and serving as the Vice President of First Federal Bank and Home Savings, Michelle Gaines-Jones decided to take up teaching as her second career when her first son was born. She is known to push her students to be the best versions of themselves. Many of her former students make frequent visits to see her as Gaines-Jones has developed a reputation for eliciting excellence from her students, both in and out of the classroom.
"Education is the greatest equalizer and it's an asset that no one can ever take away from you," said Gaines-Jones. "I'm so honored and it continues to motivate me to make sure that the students have the best education possible."
As part of the program's tradition, Rams personnel were on site to help shed light on some of LAUSD's finest achievers while encouraging the school's students to work diligently as they progress through school and ready themselves for college or a career in the future.
"This is validation that we believe is important for not just our students, but our teachers, leaders, and even our future leaders," said Johnathan Franklin, Rams Community Affairs Executive. "We want to play a part in empowering this community and various other communities throughout Los Angeles."
On behalf of CBS-2/KCAL-9 and the Los Angeles Rams, Butler received a $200 check for his education while Gaines-Jones received a $200 gift card, and both honorees received four tickets to the Rams' 2018 home opener.
Other notable community members in attendance were: LAUSD's District 4 Representative Allison Holdorff Polhill representing Board Vice President Nick Melvoin, LAUSD's Local District West Superintendent Cheryl Hildreth.
For more information about the Rams' community outreach efforts, please visit therams.com/community.