HH Bobcat Awards

New character award unveiled
By: Todd Martin
Harker Heights Elementary School leaders have maintained for years that character sits equally alongside building relationship and academic performance in importance.
That’s still the case, Principal Carolyn Dugger said as she unveiled the school’s new character awards program that takes on a more localized theme this year.
In two ceremonies Tuesday, first- through fifth-graders received medals for best exemplifying the character trait of respect.
Each classroom teacher nominated a student. During the ceremony, the principal read the nomination before revealing the student’s name as parents and peers watched.
The new Bobcat Character Awards, named for the school’s mascot takes the place of the Early Act First Knight program, which utilized elements of Medieval-era knights in awarding students.
Harker Heights Elementary will host five more award ceremonies over the course of the school year with some to include presentation from local leaders.
As always, the school’s Fort Hood adopt-a-school unit, the 1st Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment participated in honoring students. Sgt. Justin Donnelly and Sgt. Anthony Monroe shook students’ hands and presented medals and certificates.
“We want to reach for the best character in all we do,” Dugger said, noting that living a life of consistently strong character leads to success in life.
Teachers and other school staff members, she said, model strong moral character that feeds into the culture of the building.
Giving an example, she said outstanding fifth-graders are “keepers of the keys,” meaning Dugger gives them wider service privileges around the school.
“It’s something we try to teach all the time in action and deeds.”
Once again, the school will write letters of encouragement for delivery to local nursing centers and will conduct its popular Food for Families non-perishable food drive. Last year’s effort produced more than 3,000 items for donation.