Friday, February 14, 2014

Emilia 1st Grade Student of the Year

Late Friday night, I received a call from the elementary school director at the charter school Emilia attends. She left me a message saying that she needed to speak to me about something important, and to call her on her cell phone.

That got me wondering what it could possibly be. I know Emilia is a good kid, so I was certain it wasn't a grade or disciplinary issue. When we finally spoke she informed me that Emilia had been selected by her teachers as the 1st grader who best exemplifies what a true Builder is.
The school motto is to be a builder. Students are taught to conduct themselves as builders by asking themselves the questions: "What would be building behavior?" Each student and staff memorizes the builder poem and recites it at school events and in the classroom.


I saw them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a yo heave ho and a lusty yell,
They swung a beam and the sidewall fell.
I asked the foreman if these men were as skilled
As those he would hire if he were to build.
He laughed and said, “Oh, no indeed,
Common labor is all I need,
 For they can wreck in a day or two,
What builders have taken years to do.”
So I asked myself, as I went my way,
Which of these roles am I to play?
Am I the builder, who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?
Or am I the wrecker who walks the town,
Content in the role of tearing down?
I’ve made my decision; I’ll start today,
I’ll be a builder in every way.
 - Anonymous and Howard Headlee
American Preparatory Academy (APA) is built on two principles: rigorous academic instruction, and strong character development. Everyone at the school staff, teachers and students, is outstanding. I was really touched that they chose to recognize Emilia for her character and academic performance.
Her teacher, Ms. Sebra, shared these thoughts with the rest of the school at the assembly:
Emilia has such a natural ability to succeed.  She has been an amazing example to everyone that meets her. She is motivated to work hard and is reaching all of the goals in first grade because of her strong desire to succeed.  We know we can count on Emilia to be doing the right thing. She has worked hard all year to reach the high expectations we have here at APA. Everyone who knows Emilia loves her because she is kind and caring and loves to do what's right. We are so lucky she is here at American Prep with us. Emilia, you are DYNAMITE!!