By Martha B. Jacob –
Each academic quarter the students of RULH Middle School gather in the gym for a morning assembly to honor and congratulate those students who have shown themselves to have the 3 AAAs: academics, attitude, and attendance, according to music teacher, Jessica Kahrs.
Justin Birchfield, advisor for the RULH Middle School student council, emcees the event each quarter and his student council members recognize individual students from each grade for their academics, citizenship, leadership, and athleticism.
“This is always an event that highlights the great effort that goes into learning and building the school community at RULH Middle School,” Mrs. Kahrs said, “There’s always a bit of fun thrown into these assemblies as well.
“The middle school students are throughout the school year, awarded JAYS Bucks for good behavior, acts of kindness and exceptional character, and academic effort.
“The JAYS Bucks can then be redeemed for rewards that include, being able to wear a hat to school, a Blizzard ice cream from our local Aberdeen Dairy Queen, and extra outside free time for an entire class.”
Kahrs added that students can even purchase the chance to duct tape a teacher to a chair. For 250 JAYS Bucks, a student can make a staff member kiss a goat! The larger rewards don’t often get redeemed, but at a recent assembly, that was not the case.
“This is my second year teaching music to all of the students in the building,” Mrs. Kahrs said, “The kids have given me the nickname “DJ Curly J” for after my work as an acting DJ for all the school dances and assemblies. Unfortunately for me, I was chosen as the target for the Goat Kissing reward by several of my 5th grade students: Clay Phillips, Emily Adams, Jersey Fulton, Sara Schwierling, Ellaina Hutchinson, and Kenlee Finn.”
Mrs. Kahrs said that she had previously been duct taped to a chair so this was not her first time being asked to do something embarrassing for her students.
“I’m usually pretty willing to look stupid for these kids,” she said with a smile, “I love teaching them and getting to know and love all of them. They are worth the embarrassment for sure.”
Stardust the Goat arrived early one morning, brought in by owners John Paul and Christy Haitz, whose daughter, Maci is a 7th grader at RULH Middle School. He waited patiently for his new companion outside the building while the rest of the ceremony took place.
“So, with a little mental preparation,” Mrs. Kahrs said, “Stardust the Goat got his smooch, much to the pleasure of the cheering crowd of onlooking middle schoolers.
“Who knows what next quarter’s assembly will bring!”