Sarah Salinas came by today to hand me a great thank you note and a gift filled with chocolates; I am a big snacker, especially as it relates to junk food; I justify this as fuel for some big run. Hey, I am scheduled to do an 8 mile run today at my marathon goal pace, which is a 7 minute and 15 second per mile pace. Keep in mind that I must maintain this for 26.2 miles.
At the end of each year, HCHS has an award ceremony in which we honor a number of students for outstanding academic achievements. It is safe to say that I hate this day. Sarah was my most outstanding student participant for her work and efforts in AP United States history. I hate this day because there are always multiple students I can hand this award to. This year was no exception. My list started off with 8 students. I was able to narrow it to 4, then 2. Although Sarah’s academic work was top notch — which was the case for a number of students, I had to look at other factors. Though grades are important, I also weigh other things, such as:
- enthusiasm for the course
- participation in class
- willingness to help other students with the material
- general interest in understanding the material — not just looking to get a grade
- seeking my help outside of class about the content or for general questions about what we are doing
- show of respect for the instructor and other students
As one can tell, it is always difficult selecting just one student for an award that others qualify for, too; however, in the end, Sarah was a great choice for this award. I am looking forward to having her in my AP European history course come the 2009 – 2010 academic year. The history and social science department also awards what we call the “citizenship” award. This top honor goes to a sophomore and a junior that illustrates a genuine interest for their country and fellow peers. This year we awarded Nathan Moore and Tyler Look.