Students Recognized for Displaying ‘Amazing Acts of Character’
Published by Laurie Pender on December 13, 2017

Two students pose with trophies they received after receiving the 'Amazing Acts of Character' award.The Amazing Acts of Character Recognition Program celebrates Cumberland County Schools’ students who meritoriously display an act of good character that goes above and beyond expected pleasant behavior.  Beginning January 2017, each month, all nominees receive a certificate recognizing their act by the Counselor Coordinator.  In addition, a multidisciplinary Central Services Committee may recommend an elementary, middle and/or high school winner to the School Board, and the students are invited to attend the Board of Education meeting.

Two students were recently selected from individual school nominations for displaying ‘amazing acts of character.’ The following two honorees were recognized during the Cumberland County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, December 12 in the Board Room of CCS’ Central Services building.

Marcus Harris, a fifth-grader at Cumberland Mills Elementary School – According to Marcus’ teacher, LaTonya Brewington; teacher assistant, Grace King; and school counselor, Aliena Maples, he is “an exceptionally caring student.”  The educators said that every morning the 12-year-old assists a visually impaired Kindergarten student with getting off the bus and escorts her and his younger brother to their classroom. The three noted that this school year, Marcus has taken on a leadership role and is modeling exceptional behaviors for other students on the bus and in the classroom. “We [educators] have come to rely on Marcus to help or assist in situations where they may need help,” said Brewington, King, and Maples. “Marcus has matured greatly this year and has impressed everyone with his manners, his leadership skills, and his caring personality toward others.”

Sydney Harris, a senior E.E. Smith High School – E.E. Smith High School Principal Melody Chalmers said that through the 17-year-old’s “exemplary efforts to promote a positive environment among her peers, she has made a tremendous impact on the climate and culture of the school.”  According to Chalmers, Sydney noticed her schoolmates’ lack of school spirit and participation in homecoming week activities. At the conclusion of the festivities, Sydney requested a meeting with the principal to discuss how she and other student leaders could work with ninth graders and new students to teach them ‘The Golden Bull Way.’ Chalmers said Sydney ended up working with the ninth-grade administrator to facilitate “Peer to Peer Straight Talk” sessions with ninth-grade students to help them better understand the expectations “for students from students.” Sydney assembled a group of student leaders to help her facilitate the sessions in response to the need that she observed. “Sydney’s leadership in this area has had a positive impact on ninth graders and new students who better understand the expectations of the school from the perspective of a peer mentor,” said Chalmers. “She observed an area of need, identified a solution, and facilitated the resolution. Sydney persevered despite peer pressure and obstacles that could have prevented her from reaching her goal. She was determined to make this vision a reality for the benefit of the school.”

The Amazing Acts of Character Committee selects winners based on school nominations. The winners are then recognized at the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education, where they are presented a special trophy and certificate.

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