Students are the most important people entering our facilities.
Students are not an interruption of our work they are the purpose of it.
We are not doing them a favor by serving them. They are entitled to our service.
Students are not cold statistics; they are human beings with feeling and emotions like our own.
Students are people who bring us their wants and it is our job to handle them as expeditiously as possible.
Take care of the student, that’s why we are here.~ Author Unknown
Students are inherently the most important people entering our school building. Nine years ago we launched our first annual Students 1st Banquet, designed to recognize the accomplishments of students who have overcome adversity and personal challenges in order to reach their full potential in school. The nominating process calls for staff members to recommend those students who improve or maintain excellence in their academics, attendance, behavior, or overall citizenship. We believe this recognition is a testament to the positive impact these students make to our school community. Families are invited to be on hand to celebrate their student’s success. The banquet is a formal dignified event, including a dinner and a keynote speaker who provides a testimonial to their personal challenges and the skills they utilized to overcome adversity and succeed in life. Moreover, the Students 1st Banquet allows students to recognize the accomplishments and support provided by staff members. Students 1st recipients invite a selected staff member to the Students 1st Banquet and write a testimonial regarding the positive impact the staff member has made by taking a personal interest in them as a student and recognizing their potential.
Mrs. F knows my high school trauma story and assures me every day she is here to help make school as easy as possible for me. With the push and drive she gives me, I know I have enough support to stay in school. Mrs. F not only cares for me as a student, she cares for me as a person. I know when I feel like things are impossible to get done, Mrs. F reminds me to not give up; any dream can be achieved, even when you have the responsibility of raising a 2 year old child. I had planned to drop out of school again, but did not let anyone know because I knew they would try to discourage me. After talking to Mrs. F regarding my future plans for a nursing career, I realized dropping out was not the way to go. It seemed as if every time I was down in the dumps or upset Mrs. F would find a way to make me smile; even if it meant leaving a friendly note on an assignment. I know if I had not met Mrs. F I probably would have dropped out of school again. I love Mrs. F dearly, and though I am losing her as a teacher, I hope and know I will always have her as a friend.
On March 19, 2013, we hosted our 9th Annual Student’s 1st Banquet where we honored seventeen students and their families for their commitment to overcome personal challenges while maintaining a strong commitment to excel in school in order to complete their high school graduation requirements. That evening, we heard testimonials from students who had persevered through difficult family situations, overcome personal tragedies, suffered through times of poor performance in school, struggled with severe learning disabilities, defeated personal substance abuse issues, had been expelled from school, suffered a severe brain injury, struggled with personal health issues, and one student who defeated cancer. All of these students demonstrated a certain degree of resiliency with the courage to keep fighting. Not to be forgotten were the fifteen staff members who were also recognized that evening for their dedication to our students and a belief that all kids can be successful with the right level of support, care, and love. In addition, we also recognize that there are countless other staff members in our building who played an integral part in our students’ success. Our goal is to ensure that every student has at least one adult he/she can go to for encouragement or support in time of need.
I believe the commitment to ensuring that every child graduates does make a difference. We take advantage of every opportunity to recognize and highlight the accomplishments of all students whenever possible. Since its inception, our school has recognized over 160 Students 1st recipients, representing a more than 90% successful graduation rate. Remember that we are all where we are at today because we let others encourage us, guide us, and inspire us to reach for our potential. Let’s be sure to honor them by paying it forward.
“Every student deserves the opportunity to be a part of something great.” – Trevor Greene, 2013 NASSP/MetLife National HS Principal of the Year. @TrevorLTGreene