NEW PARIS — National Trail school board members recognized students and discussed policy initiatives at their monthly meeting Monday, Oct. 28.
Principal Mike Eyler revealed the high school has instituted a new program in which teachers will use an online document accessible via Google to nominate certain students for recognition each month.
“We’re trying to recognize not just academic achievement, but students who have shown a lot of improvement in certain areas,” Eyler said. Areas the awards might focus on, Eyler said, include socialization – including peer to peer and teacher to student interaction – as well as improved academic performance.
One student recognized was freshman Chris Knapp, whose teachers described him as “hard-working, helpful, and an absolute pleasure to have in class.” Students Matt Toller, Nevada Eubanks, and Elijah Hughes were also recognized, but were unable to attend Monday’s meeting.
Principal Jen Couch explained that at the middle school level, teachers will nominate a student from each grade who exemplifies one of the three core beliefs of the school’s “R-Factor” initiative.
As previously reported in The Register-Herald, National Trail administrators hope to use the R-Factor program to create a common language that will enhance communication between parents, students, and staff. The program is built around three core principles, called the Three Beliefs: “Own It,” which involves taking personal responsibility for one’s behavior; “Be relentless,” which encourages students to do their best at everything they apply themselves to; and “Complete the Puzzle,” in which students reach out and examine how their actions affect other people.
“It’s about learning to think not just of themselves first, but others,” Couch said.
Middle School students recognized were Henry Toschlog, Claire Osswald, Sam Casteel, Jonah Brinkley, Westin Marker, Tayden Blevins, Isabella Stone, Pratha Patel, AJ Wilson, Logan Riesenbeck, Thelma Weldy, and Aidan Pearson.
Elementary principal Ed Eales discussed a program called Discovery Day. Once a month, during the last period of the school day, students will take part in activities including guitar lessons, yoga sessions and cake-decorating workshops.
“We let the kids discover whatever it is they want to discover,” Eales said. “It’s just an idea to help the kids be excited about coming to school.”
Superintendent Bob Fischer recognized members of National Trail’s high school golf team, which won a league title this year for the first time since 2011. Fischer singled out senior and four-time state qualifier Makenna Jones for praise, saying she was one of only four students, and three female athletes, in the school’s history to claim the honor.
“She’s had an incredible career as a golfer here at National Trail,” Fischer said.
The golf team were Cross County League Champions this year. Team members Brooklyn Middleton, Katelyn Hines, Caitlin Gilland and Avery Rutan were also recognized.
The board discussed fundraising efforts for the upcoming eighth grade Washington, D.C. trip, saying that 54 students are currently scheduled to attend. Planned activities include visits to Philadelphia, Gettysburg, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as well as Washington DC. sites including the National Archives, the Smithsonian, the White House, and various memorials
Principal Eyler discussed the school’s upcoming career fair, which will take place November 15, as well as the Preble County Manufacturers’ Tour, in which seniors from all five county school districts will tour the facilities of local employers including Silfex, Timken, Pratt, Lewisburg Container, Henny Penny, Neaton, and DuPont.
“What I try to teach our seniors is about what it takes to run one of these plants, and the varying types of careers that you can have,” Eyler said. “We’re in the middle of a lot of very cool stuff.”
The next meeting of the National Trail School District Board of Education will take place Monday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m.