'You made a difference': Smithton graduate gets award for helping classmate

News-DemocratAugust 2, 2013 

Fourteen-year-old Jordan Fritz nervously waited for his name to be called Friday morning at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. Jordan's parents and a slew of teachers and administrators from Smithton School came out to support him.

Finally, the moment arrived: Jordan was honored with the Student of the Year award by the Do The Right Thing Program of Greater St. Louis during the kick-off breakfast Friday.

Jordan was recognized for intervening when a fellow classmate was experiencing serious depression issues that may have led to taking desperate actions. Jordan talked to his classmate about his home life and notified the school social worker.

Michelle Smith, a math teacher at Smithton School, nominated Jordan for the award. "He was in a stressful situation and could have turned away," Smith said. "He offered kind words to this other student."

Kathy Belding, the Do The Right Thing sponsor at Smithton School, also praised the actions of Jordan. "He came to the rescue of this child," she said. "He's a good kid."

Smith said Jordan is very humble about what he did. "I saw him having trouble and went up and talked to him," Jordan said.

Jordan will be a freshman at Freeburg High School this school year. He is the son of Susie and Scott Fritz and the brother of Nathan Fritz. The family lives in Smithton.

"I was floored," Scott Fritz said of when he found out Jordan would receive the award. "It's almost indescribable. I thought it was pretty special."

Susie Fritz said her son has "always been such a good kid."

Prior to Jordan accepting his award, Smithton School District 130 Superintendent Susan Homes told Jordan, "I'm really proud of what you did. You made a difference for another student."

Jordan received a plaque as well as an assortment of prizes, including a giant Smarties container filled with candy.

Westhaven Elementary School in Belleville School District 118 was also recognized during the ceremony as the 2012-13 Illinois School of the Year.

District 118 Superintendent Matt Klosterman said Westhaven Elementary was honored for consistently working to promote character development and recognize students for possessing good character by nominating them for Do The Right Thing awards.

Gateway Michael School in St. Louis Public Schools was honored as the 2012-13 Missouri School of the Year.

The Do The Right Thing program was started in the St. Louis area in 1994. The mission of the program is to recognize youth for good things they do. For more information about the program, visit www.dotherightthingstl.com.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com.

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