An honor from home

Quarantine hasn’t stopped MCHS’s social science teachers from nominating student of the month


Michelene Havard

Even during a pandemic and closed schools, MCHS’s social science department continues to recognize students who are working hard despite the unprecedented circumstances.

Michelene Havard, Staff Writer

It’s another digital learning day during quarantine and a MCHS student wakes up prepared and focused to accomplish all their assignments. To their surprise, they have been nominated student of the month by their AP Human Geography teacher. MCHS’s social science teachers believe that it is valuable to continue to award students during the lockdown.

“Social science teachers always want our number one priority to be the students,” explained assistant division chair Sean Sterner. “We do this together because we believe that MCHS has amazing students and they should be recognized for their efforts. This is a fairly new process for us. We started having a student of the month this year in October, and we have found it to be a really good experience for the teachers and students. We plan on continuing to implement this process next school year.”

McHenry Social Science Department

“Students who are nominated get a shout-out on Twitter,” continued Sean Sterner. “As a department, we made a video that highlighted why each teacher chose their nominee. We also will announce the winner through social media.”

“Education means a ton [to] me,” West freshman Brady Floden said. “It allows me to look at opportunities that I would have never imagined, and it has greatly improved my understanding of the complex world we live in.”

Students who are nominated are those who strive to get the most out of their education while quarantined at home.

“I feel that it is just as important, if not more important, that teachers recognize students for their efforts during quarantine,” said student teacher Eric Vollmert. “Being able to have someone recognize you for your exceptional work during a crisis like this can ease some anxiety and validate the effort you’re putting forth during eLearning.”

Even though there is sometimes confusion and frustration with the new styles of learning, Vollmert noticed that virtually everyone handled it with a positive attitude.

“I’ve been super proud of how each student, teacher, and administrator has come together during COVID-19,” Vollmert added. “It’s just shown me how great and unique the environment of MCHS truly is.”

Many MCHS students feel compelled to complete their work, on the other hand there are students who are lacking motivation due to online learning.

“I believe that students will absolutely be tested during this digital learning period,” West sophomore Shane Spatol mentioned. “Those who have the grit to continue working even without supervision and accountability, assuming their parents are not as involved as their teachers, will shine. This leads me to believe that it is very important that teachers continue to nominate students for Student of the Month. Digital learning will reveal those students most dedicated to their studies\; they definitely deserve to be recognized for that!”

Education means a lot to many hard-working students, so recognizing them for their excellence is a nice reminder that they are on the right path to success.

“The student of the month is a nice encouragement even if the title isn’t won,” said Brooklyn Clough. “Simply being nominated is like a little ‘you’re doing a great job’ and I love that it was established. I think it is fairly important especially during quarantine since morale is definitely low among all students.”

Persevering students should feel appreciated for the diligent work that they do.

“In my opinion being student of the month really just means I’m doing the right thing,” said MCHS student Abigail Juarez. “To me it means that I’m working as hard as I should be and doing the things that will lead me to where I want to be in the future.

Rewarding a student of the month intends to help students try to do their best.

“It is very important that teachers continue to nominate students during this time of lockdown, Floden explained. “Not much is going on at home because of the lack of outside activities, so having this award still being active outside of school is a great way to influence other students to bring constant effort through their schoolwork. This also shows a sign that teachers are still engaging with students, which is especially important during the chaos happening in the outside world.”

Teachers and students alike believe that student recognition during quarantine is valuable.

“I think it’s extremely important for teachers to still honor students we see impacting our school and all of its members,” Madson said. “Just because we are unable to meet in person, there is still a ton of amazing interactions, positive events and accomplishments going that our students need to be recognized for. For that reason I would also argue it’s more important now than ever.”