Courtesy photo
Students Drake Spanier and Pashion Carr-Lee were recently recognized for their hard work in woodshop class.

Monday, Oct. 23 marked the first day of the second quarter for all students at Hawthorne Junior High School. During the past several week’s parents, staff members and administrators have been holding discussions and building consensus on eligibility requirements and codes of conduct for students in 7th and 8th Grades.

Principal Jeff Wales opened the assembly by offering the definition of amnesty as “an act of forgiveness for past offenses, especially to a class of persons as a whole.” Essentially every student began the second quarter with a clean slate. The eligibility standards were discussed (see below) as were new rules regarding the acceptance of late work from students.

A senior at Mineral County High School, WNC JumpStart student, and Mr. MCHS, Joseph Bandoni, spoke to the students about the importance of getting work done and finding the proper balance between work and play. “It doesn’t get any easier when you get into high school,” Bandoni stated and he encouraged them all to establish good habits now.

John Gavin, athletic director, and guidance counselor talked to the students about maintaining eligibility for extracurricular activities and discussed how students can find their passion. Gavin spoke about how wrestling in high school, college and for the U. S. Olympic team helped him maintain his interest in school and paved the way for many opportunities as an adult. “Finding your passion will help you stay focused on what you need to do to be successful,” Gavin noted. He later conducted a Mind Power demonstration with members of the student council to demonstrate how important it is to be able to focus.

Marty Waggoner, MCHS alumni, coach, and teacher discussed respect with the students. He asked students to raise their hands if they were disrespected in the school environment and when many students did he reminded everyone that “no one comes to school to be disrespected.” Waggoner added that it is important for students to behave in a respectful way so that everyone can feel safe and ready to learn in the school environment.

The student council talked about good citizenship and using the Boy Scout Code, the students highlighted some of the qualities good student citizens possess. The qualities listed in the Boy Scout Code are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

A drawing was held to give away prizes to students who had received a “Motivational Note to Parents,” during the quarter. This program developed by Principal Wales highlights good deeds or student improvement. Those receiving prizes were: Michael Cauley (he received three prizes); Jimmy Pittman; Trever Camara (he received two prizes); Pashion Carr-Lee; Allen Hudson; Myron Rogers; Corbin Williams; Drake Spanier; Joseph Davis; Ashley Rogers and Faith Hamabata-Davis won the final prize a $50 Amazon gift card. More than 50 motivational notes were issued to junior high school students for positive attitudes, math class success, and teamwork.

Discussions regarding student eligibility and incentive trips for junior high students have been part of the Hawthorne Junior High Dream Team agenda since this summer. The Dream Team will hold election of officers on Tuesday, Nov. 7 and will continue to find ways to support the Hawthorne Junior High School.

“How to Be a Super Star at Hawthorne Junior High School”

• Good citizenship

• No more than three unexcused tardies in the quarter

• No truancies or unexcused absences

• No more than three non-suspendable offenses

• No suspensions from school

• Must not earn any F grades in any classes and carry a 2.0-grade point average. (Students who have an F in class may be considered to participate in teacher recommendation.)

The Amnesty Day Assembly and other positive school climate promotions are part of an on-going effort to improve student achievement and stakeholder participation in the schools.