Outstanding Community Members Recognized at Assembly


Junior Dmitry Kudriavtsev shows off his community recognition certificate.

This February, principal Julia Bamba implemented a new program at Gibson Ek High School, encouraging students and staff alike to recognize others for their inclusion, perseverance, collaboration, and respect as well as their contributions to the community.

Nominators can fill out a form, checking what they feel the nominee should be recognized for and writing a personal statement to be printed out on the back of the nominee’s certificate.

“I feel like we need to find more simple ways to recognize really great people in our community,” Julia said. “I also wanted to find a way to focus on the community agreements that we’re striving to develop and help us become our best school.”

With this goal in mind, Julia’s initial vision of the program was rather straightforward. Instead of focusing too much on a “perfect system,” her aim was to start by implementing something really simple. In the preparation process, Julia and the other staff members dedicated their time to developing the language for the community agreements, going through different iterations of the nomination forms, and prototyping the certificates.

Afterwards, the nominations were ready to be announced and the certificates to be handed out at the all-school assembly. For the first month, the result was a total of around 30 people, smiling on the stage in the Commons holding their certificates for the camera.

“I was really excited about how many nominations we got for the first month,” Julia said. “I really loved how genuine and kind the comments were. People seemed to take the nominations really seriously [and were] really happy and proud to be recognized… We need to continue to recognize the positive and incredible people that are at our school and share that.”

Moving forward, Julia plans on creating a community recognition board to post pictures of nominees on and as for any future changes to the program, she would love get some student input but all in all, she wants to keep it “simple and easy” for community members to be recognized.