by Heather Brown of the Labette Avenue
Last Friday morning during their weekly assembly the faculty and students of Chetopa celebrated the school’s seventh year as a Great Expectations Model School. The school must apply each year for Model School status through the Great Expectations program and after site visits, ensuring that the school is including the 17 classroom practices that a Great Expectations school is based on, the designation of Model School is awarded. Some of the 17 practices are: critical thinking skills are taught, educators and learners celebrate the success of others, and the environment is non-threatening and conducive to risk taking. Mistakes are viewed as opportunities to learn and grow.
According to Principal Cody Hamilton the program is a methodology that Chetopa teachers use to guide their classroom instruction. He said, “Our thinking is, if they adhere to these expectations they will be successful in life.”
Each year the grade school has a theme that is used in the classroom and through the scholl and the theme for this year is superheroes. Carter said the super hero theme has gone along wonderfully with the Great Expectations program this year. The character focus for September was heroes. The children were reminded that heroes are all around you. The students honored local heroes such as fire fighters, first responders, and city employees.
During the celebration on Friday two heroes from the grade school were honored. Cynda Jarrett brought out the Hornet mascot to help her introduce the two faculty members that were being honored. Alan Paxson was recognized for being, “a hero of children and music.” Second to be recognized was Roberta Carter. She was recognized as being, “a hero of the administration, teachers, and students as she promotes Great Expectations throughout the building.”
Jarrett then recognized Kim Pitner, Great Expectations coach, as being the school’s “mentor, our role model, and our leader to accomplishing great things for our students.”
During the program the reoccurring theme was that each student has the power to be a hero themselves at home, at school, and in the community. The students performed several songs and poems that went along with the theme, “Hero.”
Pitner awarded a certificate designating Chetopa Grade School as a Great Expectations Model School to Hamilton. To end the assembly the entire student body and teachers sang the Chetopa school song.