Academic Awards Ceremony Will Be During School Day Thursday & Friday

Owen Martzke, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The annual Academic Awards Ceremony will be held during the school day this year, specifically on March 7 and 8 in the auditorium.

Typically, the Academic Awards Ceremony is held at night in early March, but over the last few years the event has seen declining attendance with far fewer than 50% of students who earned recognition receiving their awards.

According to page 32 of the NDA Student and Parent Handbook, “Notre Dame Academy recognizes students through two Honor Rolls. High Honor Roll includes those students who have at least a 3.670 GPA with no grade lower than a B-. Honor Roll includes those students who have a GPA between 3.660 and 3.000 with no grade lower than a C-.”

This declining attendance was discouraging because successful students were not getting the recognition they deserve and younger students were not able to witness and aspire to the achievement of the upperclassmen, explained Ms. Michele Mahlock, registrar.

The administration discussed several options to encourage greater attendance for the ceremony before deciding to schedule it during the school day. The ceremony will split up over the two days due to time constraints, and it will also allow seating for parents who wish to attend.

Classes on Thursday and Friday will be 41 minutes and follow last year’s prayer service schedule with the ceremony from 9:33-10:13 a.m.

The seniors and freshmen will attend on Thursday and the juniors and sophomores will go Friday. This will give seniors the opportunity to model academic achievement for the freshmen.

Mixed reactions have followed the news of the time change for the ceremony. Personally, I have attended the ceremony the last three years at the urging of my parents who wished to see my academic achievements. The time change will no longer allow them to attend because of conflicts with work.

On the other hand, Mrs Thillman, NDA teacher and parent of a freshman, had a different view.

“Changing the time for the ceremony doesn’t bother me as a parent. This should be a ceremony for students rather than parents. I hope that those students who don’t take their academics very seriously will get the message that it’s the norm to get good grades at NDA. Hopefully it will inspire them to work harder,” she said.

In the end, the awards ceremony change will affect some parents’ ability to attend, but it will succeed in its goal to recognize all who achieve academic success at NDA.