More than just the stars

Sep 29, 2019 By Steven R. Peck, Publisher

More than the stars

Student of the Week gives recognition

to kids who don't always get it

Near the end of the current school year, which now is about one month old, our annual Student of the Week program will award college scholarships to 10 Fremont County students of the year, one from each high school.

First, though, we have to walk the eight-month-long Student of the Week path to get there.

And that's where the real action is.

No high school in Fremont County is gigantic, and most of them are quite small. In several, the faculty, administration, students and school district patrons probably already have a pretty good idea of who the student of the year will be come May.

But the students of the week, those whose faces fill up the blocks on page B-6 of today's paper and every Sunday for the next 32 weeks or so, often are less-conspicuous kids who earn the weekly recognition not necessarily by being spectacular, but by being other things.

Punctual. Consistent. Helpful. Improving. Humorous. Courageous. Indomitable. Optimistic. Persevering. These are some of the characteristics the students of the week usually display. The weekly program gives nominating faculty the chance to turn an appreciative spotlight on deserving students who otherwise might not ever get it.

At most schools, there's just one valedictorian, just one starting quarterback, just one lead actress in the school play, just one student council president, one state organization officer, one leading scorer or state champion.

But in our county there are hundreds and hundreds of other students who do other admirable things, who make other worthwhile efforts, who make important strides, who overcome obstacles, or who respond to good teaching and coaching in ways they might not have last year.

Perhaps they raise their grades by a point or two. Maybe they carry off that solo during the concert without a hitch because they practiced and practiced. Maybe they turn in a paper, or a book report, or make a speech or solve an equation that didn't seem possible for them when the school year began.

Maybe they go to school early to help with an academic project, or stay late to decorate the gym or build a parade float, or show an elementary school kid around the band room. Maybe they've been cut from the team every other year but earn a spot in uniform this time. Maybe they do something that needs doing without being asked.

Maybe they are just working hard and doing well.

The stars deserve attention and accolades. In May, they will emerge and be duly honored. Most everyone knows who they are, and always will. But what student of the week enables the schools, the sponsors, and the newspaper to do is take note of some of the others, those who are not always at the top of the podium but provide contributions and enhancements to their schools across the wide swath of youthfullife.

We also happen to think the weekly Student of the Week page is some of the best and most interesting reading in the newspaper. Follow along through the coming fall, winter and spring. You'll feel the same.

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