Hemet Unified School District staff is committed to ensuring students are college and career ready when they graduate high school. The question is, when do we encourage students to start thinking about their life after high school? When do we expose students to pathways that will help them reach their dreams? Well, Cawston Elementary School staff believes there is no time too early to expose students to start planning for their future. At a Flag Friday ceremony on December 2nd, Cawston students were shown what they can expect in years to come.
Flag Friday progressed as each assembly had in the past. Parents came to take pictures as students were recognized for following the code of conduct and exhibiting the positive qualities of being respectful, honest, and safe. Students were given Brag Tags for being honest, certificates for completing lessons and challenges, and classes were recognized for the average class attendance rate. Despite the first graders putting on an amazing performance for the rest of the school by singing holiday songs, the assembly was following the same timeline as the assembly before. That is, until Counselor Aida Sandoval stepped up to the microphone wearing a cap and gown.
Mrs. Sandoval explained to students the importance of education. She explained that after their time at Cawston, the majority of them would move on to Rancho Viejo Middle School, and then to Tahquitz High School. She explained to them that after high school students could go to college to continue their education. She explained that their educational journey, which has begun at Cawston, will lead them to various opportunities. She then asked for the Tahquitz High School cheerleaders to join her on the blacktop. The cheerleaders ran out smiling and clapping as they greeted the students.
“They are little ones so the entertainment value really hits home for them,” said Sandoval. The Tahquitz cheerleaders performed a dance routine complete with stunts and gymnastics. Sandoval said combining a fun performance while providing a message about college and how fun the educational journey is, will be more impactful if students are having fun at the same time. gasped as the cheerleaders were tossed in the air, clapped as they performed complicated gymnastics, and danced where they sat as they watched the performance.
After the Tahquitz cheerleaders performed, Aida took to the stage again. She introduced former high school graduates who were attending college. The college students, the majority of which were Tahquitz High School graduates, walked along the blacktop in their graduation caps and gowns. They high-fived students as they passed them and joined Sandoval on stage. Each of the nine former high school graduates told students which college they were attending, what their major is, and what they want to do with their degree. One of the graduates said she was going to school to become a teacher so she can help kids just like them. A student turned to her Transitional Kindergarten (TK) teacher and said, “That is what I want to do. I want to help people just like her.”
Sandoval said students were coming up to her all day talking about the assembly. They talked excitedly about the cheerleaders, how they visited them in their classrooms and played with them on the playground, and how they wanted to earn a cap and gown just like the graduates and go to college.
“It is important as educators that we encourage our students to think and get excited about school, especially at an early age. Planting the college seed early enlightens our students to strive, to be successful, and to have a positive outlook on their future.”
Thank you to Aida Sandoval, the Cawston Elementary School staff, Tahquitz Cheer Coach Sarah Peterson, and the Tahquitz cheerleaders for creating such a positive event for your students. It was an event they are surely going to remember!