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Dutcher students play fair at school, in life
char counts pic
Dutcher Middle School students Teresita Orozco and Andrea Selkow were honored as the Character Counts award recipients for the trait of fairness. - photo by NANCY ANGEL / The Journal

January Pillar of Character: Fairness
Color: Orange- think of dividing and orange into equal sections to share fairly with friends.
Accelerated Reader books to read about FAIRNESS
• "Case of the Double Cross"
• "Nice New Neighbor"
• "Thank You, Jackie Robinson"
• "Best Friends for Frances"
• "Arthur's Penpal"
• "Fox Steals Home"
"These men ask for just the same thing, FAIRNESS, and FAIRNESS only. This, so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have."-Abraham Lincoln

Parents can discuss the following topics of fairness with their kids:
- Playing by the rules;
- Taking turns and sharing;
- Being open-minded; listening to others;
- Not taking advantage of others;
- Not blaming others carelessly.

Ideas for home:
Talk with your child about the importance of being fair with people. Make sure he or she knows that it is important to you and that it will lead to stronger friendships.
Discuss a time when your child felt taken unfair advantage of. How did it make them feel? What did he or she learn from the experience?
Parents are the most powerful role model for a child. If a parent treats people fairly, then their child will learn fairness from you.
Websites to visit:


January Character Counts Profile: Fairness

Student Feature: Teresita Orozco and Andrea Selkow, Dutcher Middle School

Open communication is key to creating fairness, a trait that eighth graders Teresita Orozco and Andrea Selkow exemplify.  Both Orozco and Selkow were honored as the district students for the character trait of fairness.

Selkow, a 4.0 GPA student, has always played by the rules from an early age.  She takes turns in sharing with her three sisters and sets an example every step of the way.

“Being fair means keeping an open mind,” said Selkow.  “When you have an open mind you treat others with equality.  Being fair is a daily practice in my everyday life as I try to set a good example for my siblings.”

Talking and listening to others is imperative in creating an atmosphere of fairness, Selkow said.

“Each one of us can be fair by doing our share through personal actions, decisions, and choices,” said Selkow.  “The world would be a better place if every individual practiced fairness.”

Selkow, who is an active member of the basketball team and is a Girl Scout, said history is her favorite subject in school. 

Teresita Orozco always has a positive attitude with her peers and treats every student with respect.  After losing her father tragically at age 5, Orozco set a good example to her mother and became a role model for her younger sister.

“I decided to take a negative situation that was difficult in my life at the time and flipped it into a positive one,” said Orozco.  “I’ve been raised to have an attitude for gratitude and I hope I can set an example for people who were faced with the same obstacles I had as a kid.”

Orozco keeps an open mind with those around her.  She listens to others and shares her skills and time with those in need.

“I treat people the way I would want to be treated,” said Orozco.  “When I started school I was an outcast and type casted by other students.  I would sit at lunch and no one would talk to me.  Now, when I see a student alone on campus I talk to them and invite them to eat lunch with me.  I wish someone was nice enough to talk to me back then, and if I could spread a little of joy in someone’s life, I will.”

Orozco serves her fellow students by being an active member of Builders Club, Garden Club and is currently in the school's production of "Annie." Her favorite subjects in school are math and history.

“School is the only place where I’m happy,” she said.  “Most kids dream of not coming to class but not me.  If I could live at school I would.”

Dutcher Middle School Principal Scott Lucas said he is proud of each student’s hard work and dedication over the past school year.

“These two students think more of others than they do themselves,” said Lucas.  “They have compassion and are not selfish with others.  They have that intrinsic value and intense motivation to do their best all the time.”