East High Students Earn a Trip Down the Red Carpet

Students Hit the Red Carpet

There must surely be some parents and grandparents of current East High students who attended there long enough ago to remember when a 15 minute film threaded onto a projector by someone from the audio-visual club was a welcome break from the classroom routine. Imagine what they’ll hear from their kids when they ask them how school went today.

As their reward for placing first in the central region of the Get Schooled Attendance Challenge, East students walked the red carpet prior to loading onto a fleet of 30+ buses, chartered at MTV’s expense, and caravanning to Wynnsong Cinema where they packed theaters, courtesy of Paramount Pictures, for the local premiere of the latest Mission Impossible blockbuster. But it wasn’t Tom Cruise’s name on the marquee today. It was East High School up in lights, a temporary billing at the theater complex that will be permanent back on campus in the form of a banner that was unfurled during a morning pep assembly in the school gym that kicked off the festivities.

DJ’s from KISS 107.5 presided over ceremonies that included awards to individual students and teachers who led the way in the school’s concerted effort to boost attendance rates and, consequently, student achievement.  

Throughout the seven-week challenge online registrants received wake-up calls from celebrities like Tyra Banks. That was just one of the incentives to get more kids up and running to school in the morning. Local businesses got on board by providing gift cards which were passed out by random drawings among classes where everyone showed up on time.

Sharayah Devick, Stacie Post and Summer Weinman have been through three principals in their four years at East and they see changes this year that will last beyond the hoopla of today’s celebration. Daily announcements from Principal Steve Johns about the importance of getting to class and hallways that are more closely monitored will continue to make a difference in changing kids’ attitudes, according to the three seniors. They say kids are getting out of bad habits and into good ones.

Trevor Higgins is also a senior and he received an award, not only for his own perfect attendance but for encouraging others to get to school, too. He seemed happier for his school than he was proud of his own trophy.

When the armada of buses arrived at the theater and began dumping its cargo into the lobby en masse there was a run on the overwhelmed concession stands as participants in the mother of all field trips clamored for a candy and popcorn brunch.

Junior Jensen Hastings said that East’s victory was no fluke. He predicts the Scarlet will prove as much by successfully defending their title when Get Schooled issues another challenge next semester. Who knows what the reward will be if they do, but one thing’s been established already: the mission’s not impossible any more.

Here’s a list of individual award-winners from the pep assembly:

Spirit Award Winners
Ben Frazier
Snezana Vojvodic
Salat Jones 

School Choice
Trevor Higgins
Sarah Fitzpatrick
Kaleigh Nichols 

Most Improved
Stephanie Hernandez
Angel Ayala
Fahid Chaudhry 

Teacher Awards
Stephanie Carroll
Jamal Allan
Kris Byam

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