37 students honored at Principal's Dinner

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Central Junior High School assistant principal Alan Bruns hands seventh-grade student Noah Faulkner his award Tuesday night, during the Principal’s Dinner at the junior high school. Select seventh- and eighth-grade students were honored by their teachers during the dinner. (Laura Simon)

Several weeks ago letters went out to a select few seventh- and eighth-grade students at Cape Girardeau Central Junior High School and their parents. Seventeen seventh-graders and 20 eighth-graders were notified that on Tuesday evening they would be honored at the school's annual Principal's Dinner.

The Principal's Dinner is an event held every year to recognize students' efforts in academics, attendance, behavior and other attributes, focusing on students that often fall through the cracks.

"We have encouraged teachers to honor any student for any reason," said the school's instructional coach, RaeAnne Alpers.

Any building staff member, such as teachers, secretaries or cooks, could nominate a pupil. Accolades were given to students for attributes such as being self-motivated, highly organized and always being willing to help others.

"It's not just about academics," principal Carla Fee said. "We want to recognize the good in students, in academics, in helping others, in trying their best. We're celebrating those things, too."

Central Junior High School eighth-grade student Gavin Farrow celebrates being honored by his teacher Tuesday night during the Principal’s Dinner at the junior high. (Laura Simon)

This was the fourth consecutive year for the event.

"This was something I mimicked from another district when I worked there," Alpers said. "It was a huge hit [in 2009]. Parents were so pleased and it was such a success that we've continued it."

Alpers, who has been instructional coach at the school for four years, will become assistant principal at Central Middle School in August.

Seventh-grader Jamonte Rush, who plays clarinet in the school band and enjoys tae kwon do, was nominated for the award by his social studies teacher, Cathy Huskey.

"Quiet, focused, well-mannered, attentive, hard-working, caring, gentle and patient. ... These are words to describe Jamonte Rush," wrote Huskey of her nominee. "Jamonte is in a class of students who are not focused on work. He daily resists the temptations the other students put before him. Some students talk excessively, and I see Jamonte trying to get them in line. He does not put them down but tries to lead by example. He does his assignments on time and with great care. He strives to be the best. It's a pleasure to see him work and perform the duties of a proper student. I appreciate his dedication and he is a joy to watch. I know he'll be successful in his life. He has drive, ambition and a mission for his future. I am proud to be his social studies teacher."

Rush's mother, Cathy Young, said, "The way he acts, how he is in school, what they're saying is true about him. I am very happy, very honored."

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