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WHS rewards student improvements with ice cream
|Messenger photo by Tara Figurski
Assistant principals Lori Christman, Chad Dotson and Brian Verde serve ice cream to their students at Westland High School. The students who receive perfect attendance, honor roll or improve their grade point average over the past six weeks are now rewarded for their efforts.
Westland High School Principal John Rathburn wants to foster a positive environment at his school.
Rathburn, who took the reins at the beginning of the school year, implemented the Renaissance program. The program recognizes students for making good choices.
On Feb. 2, students were rewarded with ice cream sundaes for their efforts over the last six weeks. Students earned ice cream for making honor roll, perfect attendance, improving their grade point average, or decreasing their absences.
Junior Mitch Hamilton earned ice cream for making honor roll.
“I think it’s a good thing,” he said of the incentive. “It tells you to do good in school.”
Sophomore Kurt Guffey was honored for perfect attendance. He has not missed a day of school this year.
“I think it will encourage people,” he said.
Junior Bianca Baylis had perfect attendance for the last six weeks.
“It’s a good incentive because I like ice cream,” she said. “It gave me something to work toward.”
Ninth grader Adam Moshier was also honored for perfect attendance. Moshier said when faced with challenging homework the ice cream encourages him to try a little bit harder.
As part of the Renaissance program students can also earn a Cougar Way award. Students are nominated for the award for general acts of kindness, Rathburn said.
The school wants students to demonstrate reliability, enthusiasm, supportiveness, preparation, excellence, commitment and trust.
Rathburn said 12 to 15 students receive the award every six weeks and can earn gift certificates for Flyers Pizza, Giuseppi Pizza, and W.g. Grinders. As well as free T-shirts from the school’s DECA program.
“Teachers nominate kids who do positive things,” Rathburn said.
Teachers can be recognized for their hard work, too. Every month Rathburn passes out awards to faculty and staff. Fifty-five teachers earned gift certificates in January.
Also on Feb. 2, two classrooms earned doughnuts and orange juice from the school’s prize patrol. The prize patrol awards treats to classrooms where all the students were on time and had their homework done.
“Feedback I’ve gotten from the kids is positive,” Rathburn said. “Not everything has to be punitive.”
As part of the Renaissance program Rathburn shares an inspirational quote with the student body every morning. He also started a teacher leadership team and a student leadership team.
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