2016 Nov 2: Rockdale Intermediate School's Gallery of Champions
Community and school partnerships are extremely valuable for all campuses at Rockdale ISD, and this week we are excited to share another program that involves our school district and our community. Mrs. Kathy Pelzel, Principal of Rockdale Intermediate School, has the pleasure of introducing you this new student recognition program on her campus.
Rockdale Intermediate began a new tradition last week by inducting the first round of knights into the Gallery of Champions. The term “knight” in medieval times meant “servant”. It referred to an armored soldier who served as protector of a kingdom. In modern times, it is used as a term of recognition of merit or service an inherently infers the honorific of “Sir” to the recipient. Everyone is familiar with characters known as knights and this immediately invokes mental imagery of chivalry, service, and honor for students.
The Early Act First Knight program (EAFK), funded through the Rockdale Rotary Club, made it’s first stop at RIS to honor students who exemplify the virtue of respect. When we use the term respect, we use it in a multifaceted manner. This includes good conduct, self respect, respecting one’s peers, teachers, and learning environment. Knights take their education seriously and strive to be good learners.
Teachers and administrators don appropriate garb for the ceremony of bestowing knighthood on champions. The teacher who has made the selection first reads a passage identifying the characteristics of the prospective champion to the student body who are in attendance. After reading the accolade, the newly appointed knight’s name is revealed and the student comes before the group to receive the honor. The honoree puts on a knight’s robe and sits in the gallery of champions where he or she is joined by more knights as they are announced by their teachers in succession.
The program has been a huge success so far. Students are thrilled to receive the honor and everyone enjoys the festivities of the event. The program provides us an opportunity to recognize students who are working to put forth their best effort each day while identifying to all students specific examples of exactly what behaviors and habits merited the honor. We fully expect many students to work harder and focus more going forward in hopes of being knighted along with their peers.
We are grateful to the Rockdale Rotary Club and everyone involved in the process for providing us with the means to engage our students through positive reinforcement of behaviors and traits that all students need to be successful. We look forward to having this ceremony regularly. We have many deserving students and expect to have many more. It was great fun and a huge success.