Something to Strive For: EHPS Student of the Month Celebrations

EHPS Student of the Month celebrations returned this school year after a brief hiatus during COVID-19. Most EHHS students remember the student of the month celebration as a high achieving goal from elementary school. The monthly student of the month celebrations are hosted by the superintendent, Mrs. Erica Forti. These celebrations originated 7-8 years ago by former superintendent, Dr. Portia Bonner. The award and celebrations recognize the achievements of one student from every school in the district each month.

All schools in the district play a part in the district wide student of the month. Each month, teachers nominate a student in the school to become the student of the month.

EHHS Senior, Ryan Sieng, and Superintendent Mrs. Erica Forti

This child must have shown great progress or motivation to be chosen for this position. There is now a new aspect to these celebrations implemented by the superintendent which has to do with attendance. Any student who has shown improved or consistent attendance would be recognized for this achievement. EHHS senior Ryan Sieng was elected student of the month for the month of October. He stated, “I do not see being Student of the Month as anything past an ego boost for one day. I would like to say that it inspired me to work so that I could deserve the recognition, but in truth, I went back to working at the same level.”

Students with outstanding behaviors are nominated by teachers and then approved by the principal to be elected student of the month. These students are recognized through an event in which their family is invited to. The superintendent recognized each student's achievements with a speech filled with information compiled from the students’ teachers. The students are then awarded with a certificate and goodie bag. Mrs. Forti stated, “I invite them [the students of the month] and their families to the celebration in the Media Center and I take a little bit of time to talk about each student and greet the families. Then, I call them up and give them a certificate and a gift card. Usually we have a little breakfast after but for COVID I have been giving little grab and go bags.”

There are also building-level events for the student of the month celebrations at many of the EHPS elementary schools. At Tuttle elementary, they hold a monthly building celebration which recognizes a student in their specific school who has shown good behaviors. These students win Tuttle Bucks which they are able to use to attend certain events or buy stuff from the school store with. The tuttle bucks exemplify good behavior. Tuttle School Principal Mr. Christopher Brown stated, “Each classroom has one student representative each for an assembly to give 11 rewards, Each student gets a certificate, we announce their name, bring them to the front of the assembly and cheer them on.”

The overall experience for younger elementary students to come to EHHS and feel the environment of the school that they may attend in the future is what really stood out to administration. Mrs. Forti and EHHS principal Mr. Vincent DeNuzzo both feel as though younger students coming to EHHS will cause inspiration for their futures. Mr. DeNuzzo stated, “I think it's good to have elementary school kids be able to see where they are going to get to when they finish their [school] experience.” Hearing the achievements of high school students during the speeches can inspire the younger students as well. The overall experience that students who are nominated for student of the month get causes motivation for the future.