Principal goes crimson for students
The day after Halloween, principal Ferd Mariani had a trick and a treat in store for his students.
Mariani dyed his hair bright red Friday in honor of Red Ribbon Week at the school and poured root beer floats for students caught doing something nice.
More than 850 of Eagle Valley Middle School’s 900 students pledged this week to remain drug and alcohol free as part of Red Ribbon Week.
Ryan Chicvara, 11, was one of them.
“I wanted to be drug free because drugs are bad for you,” Ryan said. “They make you go crazy. You could die from them and you only live once.”
To motivate other students to make a similar commitment, Mariani promised students he would dye his hair red for a day if 75 percent of the student body made the pledge.
“I think if we could get even a couple of students who maybe have been around drugs or involved with them to change their minds, then it’s worth it to me,” he said. “It’s gratifying to me.”
The Red Ribbon Week was organized through the school’s Stand Tall Don’t Fall club.
Each student who committed to remain drug free, was given a red ribbon as a reminder of the pledge.
“I thought they all might think it was stupid,” said club member Kathryn Lim, 11. “But once we started this, we had kids lined up clear back to the lunch line.”
An elite set of students were also honored Friday. Vice principal Kathy Adair instituted a new program this year where teachers work to catch students in the act of a good deed.
Those students are inducted into the 200 Club and draw a number to be positioned on a grid with 200 spaces.
Once 15 spaces in a row are filled, the students in that row are given a surprise reward.
“As teachers and administrators, so many times we’re punishing or telling students what they’ve done wrong,” Adair said. “This is a chance for us to show appreciation for all of the right things kids are doing.”