The 2014 Seminole Ridge High School “Hawks Soaring” program came to a big finish recently when one student received the program’s top award in a surprise ceremony.
The program was created by the SRHS Climate Committee, a group of staff members whose ideas, put into practice, have a positive influence on the school’s general “climate.”
Everything that has an effect on campus climate, from public displays of affection to littering and staff morale is discussed within the committee.
Social studies teacher Richard Tran, faculty head of the program, believes in extrinsic motivation — the concept that students should be rewarded for their good actions. From the beginning of the school year, when teachers saw students doing something positive in or out of the classroom, those students were nominated for a “Hawk medallion” as a reward for their good deeds. Students earning medallions returned them periodically to be entered into raffle contests, and many prizes were given out, including cookies, prom tickets, restaurant vouchers and a pair of Beats headphones. With 210 students nominated, more than half won something this year.
Nominated by Tran and chosen at random in the final program raffle, Hawk junior Kyle Thornsbury won the grand prize — a $500 class ring voucher.
“In Mr. Tran’s class, the students were getting out of line, and I was like, ‘C’mon! You’ve got to do this work!’ Mr. Tran was impressed, and that’s when he nominated me for a medallion,” Thornsbury said.
A member of the climate committee added that, “a medallion is not given at random — you earn it by making wise choices, and Kyle earned his by keeping his class on task.”
In a surprise ceremony during Thornsbury’s lunch, Joe Griffin, representing class ring providers Herff Jones, presented him with the award. Pleased with the response to the raffles throughout this school year, the climate committee hopes to continue the program in the coming year.
ABOVE: Kyle Thornsbury with his parents, Joe Griffin of Herff Jones and SRHS Assistant Principal John Hay.