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Students recognized during Pride Assembly

By Staff
Kim West
PHIL CAMPBELL – Phil Campbell Elementary School has found a tangible way to motivate its students in the classroom.
The school held a Pride Assembly last Friday morning attended by more than 250 parents to recognize students in grades 1-6 that made the honor roll or achieved perfect attendance during the second nine weeks grading period of last semester.
Each student who made the A or A-B honor roll was individually highlighted during the assembly and awarded a bumper sticker and a yellow PCES Pride T-shirt.
"My kids really get excited about this," said Theresa Orrick, whose son, Dustin, 8, and daughter, Stephanie, 10, each made the honor roll during both grading periods last fall. "It gives them something to look forward to, and it makes getting good grades fun."
Dozens of students also won the Phil Campbell Civitans Award, which recognized them for extra effort in the classroom. In addition to certificates, the students also earned a pizza party sponsored by the Civitans.
"This award is for putting 100 percent in everything you do because that's what it takes to succeed – working hard each and every day," said Phillip Vincent, president of Civitans. "As an alumnus of Phil Campbell High School, I take great pride in our schools and knowing this grammar school is one of the top 10 grammar schools in Alabama. That's because of the students and the great faculty here, and I encourage everyone to take pride in their school."
Out of 398 students in first through sixth grades, 193 made the honor roll. School officials said many of the students made the list for the first time, and they attributed the increase to the Pride Assembly, which was held for the first time last fall to recognize academic achievement during first nine weeks of school.
"I've had kids who didn't make the honor roll (the first nine weeks) that made it this time," said Nina Jackson, a sixth grade science and English at PCES. "The Pride Assembly is making these kids want to work harder."
Principal Jackie Ergle said the assembly was intended not only to increase the number of first-time students on the honor roll but also boost parent involvement.
"There were at least 20 to 25 more students who made the honor roll this time, and many of them didn't make it last time," said Principal Jackie Ergle. "Up until this year, we had honor roll ceremonies in the individual classrooms, but we decided this year to enhance academics and increase parental involvement by having a school-wide assembly that would put a little more pride into our students and school.
"It was wonderful seeing more parents – at the first assembly we probably had 125 parents, and (Friday) we had at least 250 parents attend."
The assembly also featured a brief speech by Phil Campbell junior and student council first vice president Tiffany Latham, who emphasized that good grades are required to participate in most high school activities.
"How many of you want to play sports or be in the band?" Latham asked as most of the students raised their hands in response. "To be able to (participate) in all of these and not get benched, you have to keep your grades up.
"And when you get older, better grades will help you go to college and get a better job."
During her closing remarks, Ergle thanked the students for their increased efforts in the classroom and encouraged those who didn't make the honor roll to qualify during the spring semester.
"Students, we thank you for the hard work you do each and every day," she said. "If you weren't recognized today, you can do it next time. We had lots of students that weren't (recognized) last time, and we you know can do it."