Eisenhower Elementary School Principal Cindy Wepking takes a photo of Jasiah Henderson with Ike the Eagle, portrayed by Eisenhower School Counselor Kimberly Chambers, while recognizing Jasiah with an Exceptional Eagle Award Feb. 5 at Eisenhower. Jasiah was praised for being determined to accomplish any goal, working hard and never giving up. Students were recommended for the awards by their teachers for exemplifying one of the Leader in Me program principles based on the "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Honesty, class preparation and having a positive attitude were just some of the attributes that more than 20 Eisenhower Elementary School students, both in-person and remote, have been recognized for in the past two weeks.

Eisenhower Elementary School Principal Cindy Wepking takes a photo of kindergartner Mayella Dixon with Ike the Eagle, portrayed by Eisenhower School Counselor Kimberly Chambers, while surprising Mayella with an Exceptional Eagle Award Feb. 5 at Eisenhower. Mayella was praised for trying her best even when work is challenging. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Every Friday since Jan. 29, Eisenhower Principal Cindy Wepking and the school mascot “Ike Eagle,” portrayed by Eisenhower Counselor Kim Chambers, have visited multiple classrooms to recognize students for their accomplishments.


Recognized students were nominated by their teachers.


“We weren’t celebrating students because of COVID-19 — we couldn’t do our normal assemblies,” Chambers said. “I was just visiting with (Alyson Gonzalez, Bradley Elementary School counselor) and saying, ‘I don’t know what we can do. We’ve got to celebrate these kids in some way.’

Remote second-grade teacher Cambria Blain watches Eisenhower Elementary School Principal Cindy Wepking and Ike the Eagle, portrayed by Eisenhower School Counselor Kimberly Chambers, recognize remote second-grader Isaac Lee with an Exceptional Eagle Award Feb. 5 at Eisenhower. Isaac was commended for always being prepared for class and for completing work without being reminded. Students were recommended for the awards by their teachers for exemplifying one of the Leader in Me program principles based on the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“That’s when she told me about what they’re doing, so I got the idea from the Bradley counselor,” she said. “I just set it up and started it here.”


Each week, Chambers said she sends a form to the teachers to nominate a student and explain why he or she is a leader in the classroom based on the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Then Chambers prints out a certificate that is presented to the student.


“It started out as something for early-release Fridays, but there’s not that many left, so that doesn’t give very many students a chance to earn it,” Chambers said. “This is something I’m planning to continue to do even after we go back to normal and can continue assemblies.

Eisenhower Elementary School Principal Cindy Wepking reads the citation for first-grader Sarah Leone’s Exceptional Eagle Award Feb. 5 at Eisenhower. Sarah was commended for helping others and having a positive attitude. Students were recommended for the awards by their teachers for exemplifying one of the Leader in Me program principles based on the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“(I want the students to know) they can get acknowledged for when they’re working hard and for doing what’s right and following the seven habits,” she said. “Even though they may not get it this time, there’s a chance they can get it. … They’ve got a chance to earn it. They just have to work hard.”


On Feb. 5, students recognized included kindergarteners Mayella Dixon and Jasiah Henderson, first-grader Sarah Leone, second-graders Isaac Lee and Violet Workman, third-grader Ainsley Johnson, and fourth-graders Claire Mahle, Kale Hollingsworth and Daniel Helihy.

Fourth-grader Daniel Herlihy poses for a photo with Ike the Eagle, portrayed by Eisenhower School Counselor Kimberly Chambers, while being recognized with an Exceptional Eagle Award Feb. 5 at Eisenhower. Daniel was praised for being a hard worker and striving to do his best. Students were recommended for the awards by their teachers for exemplifying one of the Leader in Me program principles from the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Wepking said she enjoys celebrating the students each week.


“This is our way to celebrate our leaders,” Wepking said. “It’s building relationships.”
The other two elementary schools have similar recognition programs set up for students. Every early-release Friday at Bradley, Gonzalez and “Brad Lee Buffalo” visit students and present them with “Herd Hero” awards to honor them for their leadership.

Eisenhower Elementary School Principal Cindy Wepking presents fourth-grader Daniel Herlihy with an Exceptional Eagle Award as Ike the Eagle, portrayed by Eisenhower School Counselor Kimberly Chambers, and Daniel’s classmates Samaiyah Jackson and Jovie Siegel watch and applaud Feb. 5 at Eisenhower. Daniel was praised for being a hard worker and striving to do his best. Students were recommended for the awards by their teachers for exemplifying one of the Leader in Me program principles based on the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


At MacArthur Elementary School, MacArthur Principal Tyler Fowler’s Celebration Shoes still make regular appearances to celebrate student’ achievements. For that full story, visit https://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/featured/2019/10/03/principals-shoes-celebrate-at-maca/.

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