‘PAWS-itively’ powerful

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Method of positive reinforcement implemented at WES

By Lisa Statham Posteraro

“Don’t do this!” and “Don’t do that!” all the whole day long. Maybe this was the approach with which many of us were most familiar growing up, but what if someone noticed when we made a good choice, did the right thing? Williston Elementary School’s assistant principal, Angel Thomas, has brought an additional piece to the discipline puzzle we call the Positive Behavior System (PBS).

Since the beginning of school at WES, students from all three grades have worked toward receiving a “PAWS-itive” referral so they could go see Thomas, who would acknowledge their positive behavior with a kind word and a small treat.

“I remembered my manners and apologized when I bumped into a teacher,” said Gabriel McMullen, a 3rd grader in Lindsey Dubock’s class.

Also in Dubock’s class, Javier Gonzalez had forgotten to take home his homework so returned to school to get it, then took it home and completed the assignment.

Gerniyah Williams and Shakece Walker, students in Neige Snider’s 4th grade class, received their “PAWS-tive” referrals “for being good role models,” they said. “I want to get to know all our students. If I only see those students who have discipline issues, I miss meeting most of our WES Wildcats because most of our students never have behavior problems,” said Thomas. “So I wanted to devise a way to make a trip to the assistant principal’s office a pleasant experience. I think this is working.”

“Our parents are appreciating the positive feedback, and our students are so proud to be recognized for making great choices…the right choices,” said Marla Hiers, principal. “This has, indeed, added another layer to make our PBS initiative even more effective.”

The other recipients (listed with their teachers’ names) of this year’s “PAWS-itive” referrals included 3rd graders Antwan Bennett and Hannah Baldwin (Mary Guinsler); Mikenzi Langlois and Ivette Broavo (Tonya Townsend); Kayla Good and Blake Stacey (Hillary Cribbs); Israel Primous (Beth McLean); Angelina Cochrane and Jacob Turbeville (Linda Glenn); Samantha Hyche (Tracy Kirby); 4th graders Ali McMullen, Haley McMichen, Quardale James, Kesley Lewis, Faith Coddington and Raven Rheaume (Neige Snider); Jacob Breeding and Miranda Milton (Joelene Vining); Teresa Bartges and Quavian Johnson (Lita Halchak); MaKayla Watson (Kathy Brewington); Quadré Dixon (Beth McLean); Logan Curl and Devontré Dallas (Tina Roberts); Grayson Geiger and Natayla Robinson (Kathy Clemons); and 5th graders Steven Ervin and Otaysha Edwards (Laurie Helgerud); Jacob Baker and Lamarkus Booker (Nancy Bowman); Max Gailey and Ashley Monroe (Jeanne DuBois); Albert Fuller (Serena Thiessen); Amos Bostic and Montré McCray (Carol Glass); Yamileth Wnriquez, Shaila Simmons, Hannah Goodspeed, Jazmyn Little, Taylor Hughes and Bobby Shinn (Tess Palmer).

Wildcat Cash, which students earn for similar reasons, is still a major PBS component with the PBS store, where students can “spend” that cash, open at least once a week. Volunteer parent Robyn Lee runs the store and can always use more help. Lee can be reached at 528-3600 or leave a message at WES (528-6030) for her, and she will sign you up.

WES appreciates our wonderful Wildcats and their “PAWS-itive” behavior choices!