Student Recognition Award and Banquet in Elementary School

As educators, we know the value of recognizing students for their hard work and excellent behavior.

However, what about those students who consistently earn the honor roll, who are always in attendance, who are responsible young men and women day in and day out?  Yes, they get the same reward as everyone else.

But, why not give them a little bit more honor and recognition for being the model student?  That is exactly what we did and why we created an award's program called Stars in Excellence.  Stars in Excellence is for our upper elementary grades.  For me, we begin this in fifth and sixth grade only.  It is an award's banquet strictly for the older grades.


Items purchased for decorations can be used multiple years.  This helps save on the budget.
Gold stars and gift packing paper added for extra decorations.
Placemats (school color)

Last year (2019), we decided it was time to set aside time dedicated in honor of these students.  To begin selecting the students, we knew we needed to be consistent in selecting these students.  Therefore, we created a criteria checklist.


Feel free to take our criteria list and tweak it to fit your campus.

1.  Must be recommended by their core subject area teachers.  All the teachers need to agree this student is worthy of the award.
2.  Have an overall semester average of 90 or higher in all subject areas.
3.  Exhibits exemplary behavior, character, and attitude.
4.  No unexcused absences.


1.  Welcome and Introductions by Principal
2.  About the Award by Assistant Principal
3.  Dinner was served.  We had a Taco Buffet.
4.  Teachers presented awards and shared meaningful messages about each student.
5.  Parents and students came up to the front and received certificate and were pinned by their parents/guardians.
6.  The slides showed a picture of each student, their name, and grade level.


Pictured above: Invitation and Table Sign

An invitation was sent home with the student two weeks in advance.  My 5th graders received personal calls from me since this was their first year to experience the award.


We wanted to take a minute to showcase the parents and guardians who were in attendance for helping their child perform so well in school.  I think we often forget this in awards.  However, there is so much value in recognizing the parents for instilling values of relentlessness, leadership, and academics in their child.  Parents were asked to come up to the front with their child and receive the award along side of their child.  In addition, a photographer was stationed in front to chapter the parent/guardian pinning their child.  The pin can be seen in the picture on top of the certificates.


The meal wasn't too expensive since I was feeding up to 75 attendees.  We ordered from Fuzzy's Taco Shop.  The cupcakes were baked by a teacher who also runs a business on the side.

The photographer is a teacher who runs a photography business on the side.  Parents can access the pictures from her as early as the next day.

Backdrop for photographer was purchased here on Amazon.  Again, this is a purchase I can use again for other events on campus.


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Creative and Fun Morale Boosters

As you may know, I love to show my appreciation and love to my staff.  I keep in mind that not everyone loves food treats. Therefore, I like to mix it up a little.  I recently purchased a couple of fun items from Amazon that I must show off.

1.  You're Awesome - 30 pop-open cards

I love these because they're a little bit of a surprise.  Who doesn't like opening a little surprise message?  The messages are simple, yet beautifully packaged.  I also like to mention there is no prep in this.   At our next meeting, I will share the cards with the staff and allow them time to read the cards.

Also available are You Matter Theme and Shine Theme.

You're Awesome Cards can be located on Amazon.

Each box contains 30 cards with a different message on each card.

Each message is sealed, but they easily open by pulling the edge away.

I didn't take a picture of the back of the card, but each card has a writing space if you want to add a special note.


I read the description before ordering, but I noticed a few customers did not realize the size of the cards.  I think I like the idea of the size being small.  It is just a cute little card with a positive message.

If you like the cards, they have them for kids too!

I can't remember the last time the campus had such great laughs so early in the morning.  We have some staff who have a great sense of humor, so these cups were perfect.

I sent my staff a message as I do at least once a week via Remind.  I said, "It's okay to pick your nose today!  Not literally!  Enjoy your cup of coffee in a fun cup!"

This is not be best picture of me, but it shows the cup off perfectly.

Need ideas to help boost your school's morale?  Download Morale Magic™


I post on social media every day!  I love to share a day in the life of a principal, so I hope you are following along.


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