El Estoque

Changes made to Purple and Gold awards ceremony due to construction

Sarah Young

[dropcap]E[/dropcap]ach year during March, the MVHS Purple and Gold awards are held to recognize students on a non-academic level. Non-academic meaning that the awards focus on the student’s personality towards learning or their value to the class as a whole. Due to recent construction on the main gym, the location of the awards has changed to room A112. This year the awards will be held on the week of March 26. These awards have traditionally been held in the main gym and has been a MVHS tradition for over 14 years.

Assistant principal Michael Martinez has spent the past four to five months coordinating with teachers and department chairs over the awards. Martinez and AP secretary Lisa Mueller began planning the event back in October and September.

“[Mueller] and I work really closely with all the department chairs,so sending out Google docs to find out the nominees, talking with teachers to identify students that would be receiving the award,” Martinez said. “We have to coordinate getting the awards, packaging the awards, ordering food for the lunches, [and] finding presenters for the awards.”

Martinez hopes that holding the awards over the span of several lunches will make the awards more special. In the past, 250 to 300 students were awarded in the span of one lunch period. This resulted in teachers having to go through the recipients quickly with little time to talk about the students.

“Hopefully it ends up being something really cool,” Martinez said. “Because we’re smaller now we can spend a little bit more time talking about each student, recognizing each student, giving the teacher a little bit more time speaking about each student. We’re hoping the event can be a little bit more intimate, again a little bit more meaningful for students.”

PG awards

Martinez and the teachers have planned for the students to be grouped up and ordered in a way that makes it easier to recognize each student. This differs from prior award ceremonies in which students were given their awards all at the same time. The awards themselves focus on a students growth or behavior rather than their academic success.

“What we’re trying to do is get teachers to think about students that have a particular love of that subject or had a particular achievement or something that needed to be recognized for that particular topic,” Martinez said. “So it’s not just focused on GPA for example, it’s a little bit more specialized for the students.”

Teachers choose students to be awarded based on the prompt which states that the awards are for, ‘someone who deserves recognition.’ The meaning of the phrase can vary from teacher to teacher, and for math teacher Scott DeRuiter recognition has nothing to do with academics but rather, the student’s personality.

“Just speaking for myself not for other teachers, I usually try and choose someone who I think is someone that contributes to the class on a daily basis and the atmosphere of the class,” DeRuiter said. “I typically don’t think about whether it’s an A student, or a D student or a C student. It’s just someone who is active an involved and is interested in the material.”

The main point of the Purple and Gold awards is to recognize a students’ efforts in class rather than their academic aptitude.

“The teacher wanted to recognize their efforts,” Martinez said. “[For] every student it’s a little bit unique and I think that’s what makes it so great. It’s not just focused on like, ‘You got an A, good job.’ It’s really your love and your passion and you as a learner. You as a community member and you as a Monta Vista Matador.”

After teachers choose their students, the students are notified through emails. The recipients are emailed at their school account and schooloop account as well. If the students do not respond, they will be called in to the office to be notified.

Coordination was especially important this year as the event needed to make it more convenient for students receiving more than one award as well as meeting teacher’s schedules.

“It’s kind of like planning a wedding, but we’re planning a wedding for a whole week every single day and then we give out forty to fifty awards everyday to students,” Martinez said. “So we’re trying to put in a little extra care for this particular round, because it’s different then what we’ve done with the gym not being available.”