BCS Advantage Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 8

Students brainstorm ideas for good behavior rewards. Enka Intermediate School Students Have A Voice By Tim Reaves, Digital Communications Specialist Enka Intermediate School’s excellent counselors create a nurturing environment where students can be leaders. School counselors Wendy Cuellar and Jody Montrie developed leadership opportunities by identifying areas of school life where student input would be helpful. So they created a Student Leadership Team, a Safety Patrol, a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team, and more. “We want to build a sense of community where we all take care of each other,” said Ms. Montrie, the sixth-grade counselor. “It’s all about empathy, integrity, and self-control. That creates a family environment where we can all learn.” Ms. Montrie and a group of students gather around a wall that promotes empathy and understanding. “To make the kids feel more at home, we decided the answer was to give them a voice,” said Ms. Cuellar, the fifth-grade counselor. Cyleigh Sprouse, a fifth-grader, is part of the PBIS team, which provides input about school-wide incentives and school behavior expectations. “I like to come up with ideas for fun things to do,” she said. “I just like to be a part of things, and I want to make sure everyone is included.” Students engage in fun activities at Enka Intermediate’s Media Center. Students take an active role in the school’s 41 clubs. They help organize hot chocolate sales, talent shows, and other fundraisers. The Peer Review Committee gives students buy-in and a chance to brainstorm about policies, Montrie said. These opportunities make school more exciting for students and create a sense of community. “I’m already seeing great ideas from them, because they have their own ideas and perspectives that are instructive to us as adults,” said principal Carleene Finger. Enka Intermediate School 6 “Having kids involved in the committee gives them a chance to notice what needs improvement and helps them focus on meeting the need,” Cuellar said. “We want to hear from them so we can be more supportive and inclusive.”