The Smoke Signal

Tribe Award

Taitem Brown, Journalist

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The amount of awards that students can get in their high school career at Ripon High is a lot, but there are not many like the tribe award. The tribe award is for staff to show appreciation for their relationship with the students. Students can be more than just students to staff, but instead friends.

“You don’t have to be a 4.0 kid, you don’t have to have perfect attendance, you can be who you are and be honored for just being you,” leadership teacher Jill Mortenson said.

You don’t have to be a 4.0 kid, you don’t have to have perfect attendance, you can be who you are and be honored for just being you”

— Leadership teacher Jill Mortenson

The students getting these awards are not getting it because of what a paper said about their grades. Students were given the award because of their character and personality. This gives students who are not the best academically to be recognized for something better, charisma.

Laila Irigoyen getting emotional while hearing the speech from Mr. Mayfield.

“It’s amazing to know that I’m making an impact beyond just my peers. To have someone that I respect so much feel the same way about me is a huge pat on the back,” sophomore Laila Irigoyen stated.

Students feel honored when given this award because it means that the staff member noticed them. The staff member has respect for them and considers them as more than just a person they give a grade to. Teachers and staff pay attention to their students’ attitude and try and make sure the student knows how much they mean to them.

“I think we all try to be kind to one another and to know that I was able to affect someone’s life is not only gratifying but reassuring,” senior Sam Brown said. 

Students gain confidence and reassurance when they are recognized by teachers for their good deeds. If nobody told us that what we were doing is good then we might stop. When we are rewarded for what we do we keep doing it.

The staff has started giving recognition to the students they have a strong relationship with. School is not just about getting good grades, but it also helps build character. The tribe award recognizes that students are more than just a grade on a paper.

Sam Brown embracing a hug from Mrs. Valponi.


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Tribe Award