May PBIS winners chosen for displaying responsibility and respect

PBIS has announced its students of the month and staff member of the month recipients for the month of May. 

Learning specialist Jodi Christensen nominated fellow learning specialist Mary Lehman because she goes above and beyond to support her students. She is also described as kind, patient, and devoted to her students’ success. 

Staff Photo

“I know how much time and effort and care she puts into helping kids with their math,” Christensen said. “She gives up her planning period all the time, helps kids before and after school, and she does a really good job of breaking things down and explaining them. She has a big heart.”

Sophomore Christian Gray-Frasca emailed assistant principal Elise Heaton praising Lehman for her dedication to her students.

”Everyday I drive by the SMHS sign at the front of the school and see who is rewarded Teacher of the Month. There is a specific teacher I would really like to see on that sign, but I have not yet. I would really love to recommend and put in a good word for Mary Lehman because she has just been phenomenal as a teacher,” Gray-Frasca said. “I was a freshman in one of her classes last year, and as of right now I am a sophomore in a class of hers again. She really is a very underappreciated teacher who has an extreme amount of patience and goes out of her way to help students with school work that they have trouble understanding. I really think something should be done for her because she has been the best source of help and support for me and many other students for a long time.”

Staff Photo

Other nominated staff members include English teacher Jill Bowen, athletics secretary Sarah Hammond, student information systems operator Kristen Brooks, ESOL teacher Valarie Hughey, science teacher Kelly Rock, guidance counselor Connie Patterson, and history teacher Diane Ruane.

Christensen also nominated sophomore Joseph Wilkin for being proactive with his school work and voluntarily sacrificing his weekend to stay caught up on his school work. 

“He was absent from school for just a few days but he got behind and I told him Saturday school was an option, and he voluntarily came two different times,” Christensen said. “I was just impressed that he put forth the effort on his own time without anybody forcing him to.”

Other underclassmen nominees include freshmen Kailee Boone, Ava Rusk, Brenda Smith, and Logan Stewart, and sophomore Jerrod White.

English and journalism teacher Justin Spencer nominated junior Cecily Shaber for her responsibility and her ability to make practical decisions for herself. She recently had to choose between taking AP Spanish next year or continuing as editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. Shaber chose the AP course because it better served her goals after high school.

Staff Photo

“One of the great things about Starr’s Mill is that we offer our students a lot of opportunities. Unfortunately, with those opportunities also come choices, and she had a very difficult choice to make. Ultimately she made the best choice for her long-term goals,” Spencer said. “I think it’s a powerful lesson for the rest of her peers that there are a lot of opportunities and lot of things that are offered here at Starr’s Mill, but with that comes the responsibility of having to make choices and making the best choices for your long-term goals in life.”

Other upperclassmen nominees include juniors Emma Frank and Jack Ryan.

Once a month Elise Heaton, the assistant principal in charge of PBIS, sends out a link for staff members to nominate students and teachers on their good behavior. The PBIS committee, composed of Freeman, a PBIS coach, and other faculty and staff, voted on the PBIS staff and students of the month. 

“The PBIS program at Starr’s Mill helps us focus on the three core values that we want all of our students and staff to exhibit on a daily basis: respect, accountability, and responsibility,” assistant principal Elise Heaton. “So with PBIS and focusing on these three things we can celebrate the positive things going on in our building instead of the negative things, which will hopefully encourage others to show those positive values as well.”