Hard Work Paying Off, Students Honored by Principal Dodig

Aaron Hendel, Staff Writer

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A few weeks ago, Principal John Dodig sent an email out to the entire guidance department, asking the counselors to “flip through report cards and find ones that pop out,” due to sudden grade progress.

This was because Dodig was preparing for his 6th annual Most Academically Improved ceremony, which was held last Thursday, April 5th. Approximately 30 students, (mainly sophomores, some juniors, and a few seniors), beside their family members, were presented with awards from their principal before school in the cafeteria.

Dodig created this ritual because he wanted those select students to know that “we applaud you for deciding to put in more effort.”

Dodig also acknowledged how difficult it is when a student is not always succeeding as much as they may like in an environment like Staples, “where kids with huge aspirations are constantly talking about Princeton, Harvard, and APs,” he said. “If that’s not you, it becomes self-perpetuating.”

An additional positive about the ceremony was that “you didn’t have to have impeccable grades in order to be nominated,” Katie Smith ’14 said. “You (just) had to exhibit any type of improvement.”

While some students may have been slightly embarrassed, most recognized the award as a glorifying achievement.

“I was happy to receive this honor, as it is a true testament to how hard I’ve recently been working,” Aldi Canaj ’14 said. “Hopefully I can maintain, if not improve, my recent grades.

“It was really nice to be recognized for the hard work I put into improving my grades,” Smith added.

As for advice moving forward for these students, Dodig had this to say: “You’ve shown you can be a great student; we saw your head stick out of the hole. Hopefully next will come your shoulders, then elbows, and then by the end of high school your entire body.”

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