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Good Citizenship Award

March 17, 2011

Students at Coventry High School have been singled out and awarded for their contributions.Front row l-r:Allison Bousquet, Jaryn LaPlante, Kristina Andrea, Joe Velleco Back row l-r: Tayla Manson, chris Penny, Erin Blackmar, Alexis Lynn Ruest, Rebecca Craig and Amanda Grace.

Jessica Selby
jselby@ricentral.com

Jaryn LaPlante tutors students who need extra help after school.
Alexis Ruest found $50 in the supply closet at her school and turned it in.
Kristina Andrea helps out the exchange student that her school hosts.

These three students in addition to about a dozen or so others all do various acts of kindness in the Coventry High School community on a regular basis. Typically, these acts of kindness had gone unrecognized, until now.
Last year Dolores O’Rourke, the library specialist for the Coventry High School created a good citizenship award program. She recruited a team of faculty and staff from within the school to come together midway through the school year to nominate students from amongst the entire school population for the award.
She said that the team considers student’s contribution to the school community as well as the community at large, their demonstrations of leadership qualities, and their willingness to volunteer and offer assistance in unasked situations.
She said that those students who are nominated are typically the “unsung heroes” of the school.
“These are students that do so much and would really never have had the opportunity to be acknowledged for it if it were not for this award,” O’Rourke said. “Now the school community can recognize them for their efforts in the school community and we also acknowledge them in a board at the entrance of our school.”
At the entrance to Coventry High School there is an oversized bulletin board which contains 8 x 10 sized images of each of the award recipients and along with their pictures are bios of the students as well as a brief reason for their nomination.
Those awards were posted at the start of January and will remain in place until next year’s select group of students are chosen, O’Rourke said.
This year’s group learned of their nomination just before they left school for their Christmas break. O’Rourke said that the students were called down to the library so that the school Principal Michael Hobin could present them with their awards and formally recognize them for their efforts.
Alexis Ruest, an 11th grader at the school, was recognized for her willingness to turn over $50 that she found in the supply closet of the gymnasium. Ruest said that she found the money near the volleyball supplies and turned it over to her coach who was able to find the actual owner of the money.
Kristina Andrea, an 11th grader at the school who also serves as the junior class president, was nominated for her willingness to provide support to her classmates and peers, especially a foreign exchange student who arrived at the school this September.
Joe Velleco, a senior, was recognized for his technological skills as well as his readiness to share those skills and resourcefulness in the classroom with others.
Jaryn LaPlante, a junior, Allison Bousquet, a senior and Erin Blackmar, were all recognized their individual characteristics, but also because they signed on as volunteer tutors at the school in a new after school program geared toward struggling Coventry High School students.
Tayla Manson, a freshman, Rebecca Craig, who is also a freshman, and Amanda Grace, who is a junior, were all nominated for their selfless motivation to help others whether it be in academics, friendships or just in organizational abilities.
Christopher Perry, a junior, was recognized for his academic merits in the mixed media programs, Kayla Ducheasneau, as a leader in the school community, Katie Printer as an advocate for others who are not as vocal as she, and Michael MacKenzie for his enthusiasm to support the unified basketball team.
All of these students said that although it was very nice and that they were honored to be recognized for their accolades, that they do not do those things for recognition, but instead, just out of the goodness of their hearts.
“I don’t tutor or serve on the mock trial team because I want to be recognized for it or expect some sort of applaud for it, it’s just what I do and how I am,” Erin Blackmar said. “Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice thing that they did to recognize us, but I don’t think any of us do these things for any other reason than the fact that we want to do it.”
O’Rourke said that that was the exact reason that she felt as though this award needed to be created; so that students like these “leaders” and “motivators” and all of the good deeds that they do in the school community wouldn’t go unrecognized.
In addition to the awards that the students received, O’Rourke also presented each of them with gift certificates to Barnes and Nobles.
“These students really are special and deserve recognition as well as gratitude and I am just glad that we have this program in place at our school now so that that can be done,” O’Rourke said.

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