New program recognizes star students

By Freddy Roberts, Online Editor

Middletown High School is filled with students that try their hardest but somehow manage to fly under the radar.  Their work and accomplishments don’t always get the recognition they might deserve.

To solve that problem, teachers recently got together to create the Student Recognition Program. The program enables students to be nominated by teachers, workers, peers or other members of the school community.

The teachers created the Maryland Safe and Support of Schools Initiative, which is represented by MDS3. The Student Recognition Program was devised recently out of the climate surveys the students took. These same surveys were given to the students about three years ago.

The MDS3 committee was arranged by Alisa Gibson, MHS transition education coordinator, Tracey Athey, MHS mathematics teacher, and Brook Hontz, MHS assistant principal. The Student Recognition Program was created in the second semester, but is just now starting to be shared with the staff and the students.

In the surveys, it was revealed that many students were not getting recognition for things that they were doing every day to show that they were ready, respectful or relentless.

“One of the questions on the survey asked about student recognition, and it’s an area where our school seems to fall short in the eyes of students and parents,” Athey said.

Students who have been chosen will have their names placed on the bulletin board out in the MHS cafeteria. On the board is a colorful arrangement of stars, representing those who have been nominated.

Gibson said, “We came up with the board that is up there out front so that students can nominate.”

There are nomination forms located on the ALL STAR KNIGHTS board in the MHS cafeteria for those students, parents, teachers and civilians who are interested in nominating a student.

Anyone can nominate students who are part of MHS, using either the paper form or online at the MHS website. The nominations are then reviewed every couple of day or every couple of weeks, and as they come in, new stars are put on the board with names on them so other students can see who has been recognized.

At the end of each month, the MDS3 committee will take all the names from the board, and those names will then be placed into a drawing. The students who get their name drawn will be able to pick from various movie tickets and gift certificates, including Chipotle and Subway.

The drawings will be live on the morning announcements for everyone at MHS to see.

For the future of the Student Recognition Program, the MDS3team is trying to find as many age-appropriate ways to recognize students who demonstrate the 3Rs.

The Student Recognition Program started out small, but the MDS3 team is hoping for a full effect to take place at the beginning of the next school year. The teachers are also looking for other and even better ways to recognize the students for what they have done.

Hontz thinks that the thing the team needs to focus on now is just getting the word out. Both parents and students have reacted to the board out in the MHS cafeteria and the Student Recognition Program, expressing curiosity but also a lack of awareness of what the program is.  Hontz said the parents who know about it think highly of it.

The MDS3 team is still currently in the process of coming up ideas for prizes for the nominated students. Not only will the nominated student get to pick a prize, the person who nominated the student will get a prize, too.

The teachers are also thinking about creating a focus group on the subject and asking students what type of prizes they would like to receive for being nominated.

Mostly, Hontz said, “I just really hope that students, and parents and staff keep their eyes open for people doing good things.”