PILOT MOUNTAIN — The more than 520 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders attending Pilot Mountain Middle School gathered in the school’s sun-drenched gymnasium yesterday morning to celebrate two performance awards garnered by the school this year.
Principal Neil Atkins told the students that the school had been named a Piedmont Triad Education Consortium Signature School this year, and also was lauded with the Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS) Green Ribbon Award.
Atkins said that the Signature School award offers the staff the opportunity to attend staff development workshops and classes. The consortium is a collaboration of 15 state school districts as well as more than a dozen higher education institutions. Membership in the group allows the staff to receive training through programs that would otherwise be to expensive to attend.
“This is a big honor for us,” Atkins said. “The staff development offered by the consortium is really top-notch and it’s very important for us to be able to take advantage of everything they offer.”
But he noted that receiving the award doesn’t just illustrate the competence and quality of the teachers in front of the classroom. “To be given this award doesn’t necessarily reflect on just the staff. This is a reflection of the quality of our student body as well as our staff.”
The Green Ribbon award was given through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for their high level of completion of positive behavioral intervention support programs.
Schools must complete at least 80 percent of the program in order to be eligible for the award, but Raven’s Rights Ambassador Mollie Davis noted that the school went well beyond that benchmark.
“We’re the only middle school in the county to win the Green Ribbon Award, and here at Pilot Mountain Middle School we scored 97 percent,” she proudly told the students.
The behavioral intervention program is paying dividends in the school’s hallways and classrooms, according to Davis. “We stand up for what’s right. Pilot Mountain Middle School wouldn’t be the same school without the (PBIS) classes,” she said.
But the assembly wasn’t all speeches and sitting quietly. During the program students with the school’s Raven’s Rights Ambassadors presented a short skit depicting positive ways to handle negative peer pressure, telling the student body that giving into peer pressure means they are being a follower. “What do you want to be? A leader or a follower?” Asked eighth-grade ambassador Brock Jessup.
A student-organized group also thrilled the students with acrobatic cheer routines including the difficult basket toss, closing with a rousing “Go Ravens!”
Atkins closed the program by telling the students that the sky is the limit if they continue to focus on a positive path.
“As I watched this program today something became crystal clear to me,” he said. “When we adults give you, our students, the power to create there is nothing you can’t do.
“The awards and student achievement results we celebrated this morning are nothing more than symbols of the unlimited potential that you, our student body, has.”
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or a 719-1929.