The transition for children to a brand new school often comes with many challenges. For Innocent Ntwali, a Rwandan refugee, those challenges were even greater. On his first day at Winton Woods Elementary School in Cincinnati he spoke not a word of English.
This past year his hard work and conduct in school have earned him the Kiwanis Character is Key Award for Fairness. “Through his year and a half at Winton Woods Elementary School, he has grown in so many ways by assimilating into the culture, learning the English language and becoming friends with his classmates,” said Principal Kendell Dorsey.
“Innocent never thinks about himself first,” said his reading teacher Lois Minton. “He always wants what is right for the group or the situation.” Physical Education Teacher Sheri Conrad, who is in charge of the school’s Sprinter’s Club, agrees. “In Sprinter’s, Innocence never cuts corners. He always runs the course the way he is supposed to. He leads by example every day and does not even know it,” she said.
“He is the epitome of good character,” Dorsey added. “Innocent is kind, smart and always willing to lend a helping hand. He is constantly challenging himself to be better.”
Photo: Winton Woods fourth grader Innocence Ntwali listens as Superintendent Anthony G. Smith reads Innocence’ recommendation for the Award. Photo by Teresa Cleary.