Every student wants to think they are special - and they are - in their own way. Meadowbrook High School celebrated 80-plus students last Tuesday who had been singled out more than once as a “Student of the Month” during the Student of the Month Year-End Celebration. There has been at least 125 students each month recognized during the school year for being a good student; students who stood out for going the extra mile, whether in academics or respect for their fellow student.
The students enjoyed hamburgers, hotdogs and an assortment of sides along with music and games and a chance to just hang out during the two-hour event. Invited guest included Dale Supervisor, Jim Holland; Keith Westbrook, representing Delegate Delores McQuinn’s, who was unable to attend; Joe Tylus, filling in for Dr. Marcus Newsome, also unable to attend; faith-based organizations and community partners that served as hosts during the school year including New Covenant Presbyterian Church, Beulah United Methodist, St. Augustine Catholic Church, The American Legion Post 186, Gathering Grounds Ministry, Chester Baptist Church, First Baptist Church Centralia, Branch’s Baptist and Mt. Gilead Full Gospel International Ministries.
Started in the fall of the current school year, the “Student of the Month” was founded by the school’s Effective School-wide Discipline (ESD) team, under the direction of Teddy Mintz as team leader, and designed to provide positive behavior supports for the 1,800 students in grades 9-12 at Meadowbrook. Each month, certified teachers select one student who has excelled in the classroom and exhibited Meadowbrook’s ROAR philosophy (Responsible, Organized, Achieving, Respectful). The ROAR philosophy has been adopted by the entire school and has instilled a sense of pride, respect and excellence in the students and the staff. The chosen students and their parents/guardians were notified by a congratulatory letter from Dr. Thomas Ferrell, Meadowbrook principal. The students then were transported off-site to a host location for lunch and a message from a guest speaker, encouraging them to continue doing great things. Meadowbrook received support from the local faith community and other businesses and organizations in the area.
Senior Omar Vasquez was nominated Student of the Month twice during the school year. “I feel proud of myself,” he said. “I did a pretty good job my senior year.” Vasquez hopes to obtain a computer certificate in school so he may go to work after graduation being a Web Master or work in publishing.
Javion Ward, also a senior had been selected every month starting in September and leading up to the special luncheon in May. “I do good in school. Work hard and make myself better at what I do,” he said. Ward plans to attend John Tyler Community College after graduation and then transfer to a four-year university to major in Public Health and play college football.
Matthew Dabney, a junior, was also selected each month. Dabney said he did good in school. Made good grades especially on quizzes.
Tenth grade student Shanita Jefferson, chosen two times said, “It is a good privilege. You feel better about yourself. Good grades, on time to class, not a problem maker,” she said.
According to Mintz, Meadowbrook is the most diverse school in the county, with languages and economic challenges. “Our teachers work really hard,” he said. During the recognition of the students he added, “We are proud to honor these students today, who have received more than one nomination.” The ESD team also includes Drew Walker, Judith Holland and Renee Johnson.
Dr. Ferrell said the monthly luncheon is great reinforcement for positive and outstanding behavior.
Tuesday’s celebration was sponsored by the Rev. Derek Jones and the First Baptist Church family, and Supervisor Jim Holland. Holland said, “This is a wonderful event. Celebrating our students for representing our core values, not only in school, but also at home and in our community. Faith communities have a real impact on our students, school and educators.”
Mintz said this is a program they would like to continue next year. For those interested in supporting the program during the next school year may contact Mintz at firstname.lastname@example.org.