School holds Star Wars-themed pep rally

A North West Hendricks school is holding a pep rally Tuesday as part of its larger goal of motivating everyone in the building.

The Star Wars-themed event takes place on the first day of the second semester and will feature awards for Student of the Month and other accomplishments.

Tri-West Middle School, holding the rally in the high school for space purposes, has participated in the Renaissance School program since 1993.  For the last five years, principal Ryan Nickoli told Fox 59 News it has recognized every single person in the building – from students to teachers, secretaries to custodial staff – to great effect.

“You hope it’s all intrinsic, but sometimes it does take that extrinsic motivation,” Nickoli said of the rewards system, which commends good grades, attendance, random acts of kindness and other accomplishments.

“If they know they’re going to be rewarded for what they do, you tend to get a little more out of [students],” he said.  “That’s true for teachers too.”

Renaissance Program coordinator Gina Whitaker said the task takes a great deal of organization and all the staff chipping in.

“There are multiple people behind the scenes that come together,” Whitaker said.  “They put a lot of effort into what they do each and every day and we like to look for a way to recognize them for that.”

Other districts in central Indiana participate in the Renaissance Program and Nickoli believes more could learn from North West Hendricks’ success.  He said finding creative ways to recognize each person has helped the entire district reach its goals.

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