Student of the Quarter continues
Each quarter, two students from each grade are chosen to be Students of the Quarter.
Mrs. Pamela Wishmeyer started this project in 2009.
“Each teacher is asked to nominate a student, and they write a brief paragraph or sometimes more, of why they would recommend this particular student as student of the quarter,” Mrs. Wishmeyer said. “As a committee, we sit down and we look at all the nominees and check to see that no one’s failing, and we look and see who is deserving. The whole project is simply to allow teachers to recognize students for how great they are, and just to be able to showcase all the great students we have–not only what they do in the classroom but also how they help outside the classroom.”
For the third quarter, junior Areeba Hasan was nominated by her physics teacher.
“I got this award because I get good grades, I work hard, I’m dedicated and I’m really passionate about school, which is why teachers like me,” Hasan said. “Mrs. Senac took me out of English one day and was like ‘I got to talk to you.’ She told me that Mr. Perry nominated me and showed me what he wrote for me. I didn’t think Mr. Perry liked me that much because he has the best students from Physics 2 and Chem. 2, and I didn’t think I would stand out as much to him, but I did so I was definitely surprised.”
Junior Cooper Kelley was Student of the Quarter last year as a sophomore.
“I had Ms. Negley for health class second semester last year,” Kelley said. “We got along really well, and I guess she seemed to like my work ethic in her class so she nominated me. It made me feel proud of what I was doing in her class. Trying your best should be something that everyone strives to do, but it made me feel good that people appreciate what I do.”
Students are nominated not only for their grades but also for their hard work and dedication towards a class.
“I found out that my recommendation was from Mrs. Roberts,” junior Haley Pritchett said. “Receiving this award made me feel really good, honestly, because not a lot of people understand the hard work and dedication it takes to put together the newspaper. Receiving that award made me feel like what I was doing did not go unnoticed.”
Sophomore Faith Surface was nominated to be Student of the Quarter by Mr. Ben Sutton.
“He said that it was based on my academics and personality, that I’m always striving for excellence, that I’m always an overachiever and that I work really hard to make sure that everyone feels loved around me,” Surface said. “It made me feel really happy because Mr. Sutton was the last person that I thought would would notice, but he did and that makes my heart happy that people notice.”
To be recognized, the eight students of the quarter attend a luncheon where their recommendation letters are read aloud.
“At the luncheon, we got these special blow-pop suckers, and we did these activities where we got a slip of paper and read off a joke to make everyone feel a bit more comfortable,” Kelley said. “Some teachers would then get up and read our recommendation letters.”
Along with the luncheon, students receive a free meal to Texas RoadHouse.
“The lunch was awesome,” Pritchett said. “There was pulled-pork, chicken tenders and cheese fries; I am a huge fan of cheese fries.”
Each Student of the Quarter is asked to fill out a survey about themselves and send in photos, which are then designed into a poster. These posters are hung outside the main office.
“I haven’t seen my poster yet,” Surface said. “It makes me really nervous because it’s kind of scary having everything on display for everyone. Social media is different, because I put it on there and no one is going to be looking at my social media and come up to me and be like ‘Oh that’s a cool post.’ But that poster is up there, and people could recognize me and be like ‘Oh, you’re on the poster’ and I’ll be thinking ‘did I say anything embarrassing?’ I think I’m just nervous to see it.”
As it takes time to design the posters and plan the luncheon, the project switched from Student of the Month to Student of the Quarter, where students were recognized for hard work and other qualities instead of strictly academics.
“I’ve always believed in being able to recognize students,” Mrs. Wishmeyer said. “When we started, we used Student of the Month, but we focused more on academics. We decided we would do Student of the Quarter a little bit different, where we are not only just recognizing the students who are excellent students but also if they’ve got other qualities. Are they involved in the community? Are they super nice in the classroom, and are they willing to help somebody who’s really struggling? They’ve gone above and beyond what we’ve asked them to do. It just makes this a little bit more well-rounded, rather than just strictly academics.”
Hasan agreed that students who persevere and work the hardest should be the ones recognized.
“I think the Student of the Quarter should go to the student who doesn’t necessarily have the best grades but the one who perseveres the most, who tries the most because it’s not really about the grade; it’s about how far you progress,” Hasan said. “This year I’ve learned it’s not about perfection, it’s about progress.”
Taking the time to recognize different students throughout the school hopefully will motivate students to keep working hard and be unique.
“It was cool because you a lot of times don’t realize what people are doing and you don’t notice everybody in the school,” Pritchett said. “Sometimes when people don’t feel like they’re being recognized for their work, they can fall off a little bit. I think that giving teachers the opportunity to notice different students throughout the school who might not be on the basketball team, or who may not be a cheerleader, for what they’re doing is really important and will help be a motivator for students.”