By Abby Allen
WCHS staff members have been searching for a way to incentivize positive behavior, and they recently implemented the Blue Ticket program in accordance with the Warrior Way. The Warrior Way is a set list of guidelines (Be Positive, Be Pro-Active, Be Present, Be Respectful, Be Self-Motivated, Be Responsible, Be Productive), that every school in the Clark Pleasant Community School Corporation follows everyday to build skills needed for social interaction in any career setting. These guidelines are encouraged in different ways, one of which is the Blue Ticket system.
The Blue Ticket program is a unique program that allows students to be recognized for exemplary behavior. The teachers are provided with the tickets, and when they observe a student exhibiting any of the six Warrior Way traits, the teacher gives the student a ticket. After that, the student holds onto the ticket until they can redeem it for a spin of the Prize Wheel at lunch in the main building (they are still working out details in the other building) to be rewarded for their behavior with different snacks or even a t-shirt, hoodie or earbuds.
Principal Tom Zobel and his staff developed this program in hopes of reinforcing the Warrior Way and keeping students out of trouble.
“We have been looking for some time at an incentive program for students to reinforce positive character and to reinforce also the warrior way characteristics. We just felt this was a way to give the students not only recognition but a reward for doing the right things. So we decided we’d give away little prizes to say well done,” Zobel said.
Another main goal of the program is to encourage positive interactions between students and teachers. This incentive allows for the idea of respect to be put into perspective.
Junior Denis Hrvat explained how he believes the negative interactions the tickets aim to correct impact students’ experiences at school.
“I guess it makes people think about respect for one another; it’s nice when someone respects one another. If someone has a negative attitude towards you or someone, it can impact them by thinking about that one comment against that one person,” Hrvat said.
English teacher Jessica Lyons likes to distribute tickets one ticket per class each week, and likes to focus on the Warrior Way trait of the week, which gives tickets awarded for that trait extra prize value. Lyons explained how she feels about the program.
“I like being able to reward the kids with something tangible for positive behavior,” Lyons said.
Zobel has strong hopes for this program, as he created it to give students a bit of reassurance as they work under the stress of school and family responsibilities.
“I think [for] individual students that have been recognized, it’s been a positive thing for them, that’s a good thing to bring a smile to someone’s face. Also, the Warrior Way prizes are just part of trying to get students to have a more positive experience,” Zobel said. “The counselors’ office is doing Wellness Wednesdays, because one of the things we hear from students is the enormous amount of stress that they feel; [stress] trickles all the way down to elementary schools [because] of how much stress they are under. With the Blue Ticket program, we are just trying to come up with a little way to let students know that it’s going to be okay.”
Every student has the potential to be great each and everyday, ticket or not. And each Blue Ticket earned is one experience that made someone’s day, not for the reward, but for the lasting skills that are built through the daily following of the Warrior Way.
“Well it goes beyond education, it goes to how do you conduct yourself when interacting with others; those are the skills that translate to their futures and careers,” Zobel said.