Accountability, responsibility on display in January PBIS awardees

PBIS has announced its first student and staff members nominations of the calendar year. 

Engineering teacher Rob Bell nominated child development teacher Hope Via for being accountable. According to Bell, Via is willing to lend a helping hand, and when she says she will be there, she is 100 percent committed to the task.

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“I wanted to recognize her for all the hard work she does behind the scenes,” Bell said. “She’s a very supportive department chair.”

Other nominated staff members include ESOL teacher Valerie Hughey, bookkeeper Brenda Adams, guidance department secretary Stacy Nichols, school resource officer Zane Taylor, speech language pathologist Shannon Gagliano, English teachers Jillian Bowen and Whitney Shoemaker, and math teacher Wendy Willoughby.

English teacher Justin Spencer nominated freshman Crista Alarcon for being responsible. According to Spencer, although Crista was recently involved in a golf cart accident, she contacted him letting him know the status of her classwork, where she was with her interviews, and what she would do when she returned to class. 

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“I was just really proud of her in the way that she stayed responsible, stayed on top of her studies even though she did, understandably, have to rest,” Spencer said. “I think that sets a great example for students when they’re absent or when things happen, that way we still can at least touch base with our responsibilities.” 

Special education teacher Laura Harbin nominated junior Bryson Amos-Wright for being responsible. This semester, he has been taking an active role on his assignments and is making sure he is not falling behind. When he takes his scheduled breaks throughout the day to address his anxiety, he sets a timer himself and when it goes off he goes straight to class.

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“Bryson just started at Starr’s Mill back in August. Last semester was kind of tough because he had to get to know people and understand our culture and how we do things,” Harbin said. “In January he came back from winter break and he has been so studious. He’s been staying on top of his assignments, and he has no missing assignments. He’s so excited that he was selected as student of the month.” 

Other nominated students include freshmen Charlie Venable, Lilly Hynson, and Allison Moore, sophomore Joshua Knowles, junior Erin Walker, and seniors Olivia Zimmerman and Zackary Brannon. 

Every month of the school year, Elise Heaton, the assistant principal in charge of PBIS, sends out a link for staff members to nominate students and teachers for displaying good behavior. The PBIS committee at Starr’s Mill is composed of Heaton, a PBIS coach, and other faculty, which vote on the PBIS staff and students of the month. 

“PBIS is a framework that many schools across the country use to focus on the positive behaviors that students are doing instead of the negative,” Heaton said. “At Starr’s Mill, our three values are respectful, accountable, and responsible. So we focused on celebrating students and teachers who exemplify those values.”