Seward High School Principal, Scott Axt and Assistant Principal, Jill Johnson presented the program at Kiwanis this noon on the school's P.R.I.D.E. initiative. It is a new program that recognizes the virtues of: Preparation, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Effort. Students are nominated by Teachers and other School Staff for recognition when commendable behavior is observed in any of the PRIDE categories. The first recognition rally was held recently in the school auditorium to celebrate the number of favorable incidents that had been reported.
Examples of PRIDE award winners include, a football player who saw a resident of the care facility fall from his wheel chair. It was across the street from the practice field so with the help of a couple teammates, they rushed over and picked him up. Another student was recognized for "selfless volunteerism as a chess mentor at Seward Memorial Library, noting his reliability, integrity, and positive nature." The program has also provided framed certificates of "Behavior Expected" in the Library and Bathrooms. They are considering also posting "what is expected" in locker rooms. The program is based on letting students know what is expected of them, and then, providing reinforcement for positive behavior as contrasted to punishment for negative. While there has not yet been any study of the relationship between the PRIDE program and academic achievement, the number of students on the Honor Roll are at a historic high. They were quick to point out that it doesn't solve all the problems but certainly helps. The Business Leaders involved have emphasized the importance of employees "soft skills" in a job setting.