The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Jurassic World and Mythical Creatures Descend on Harlem


June 3, 2020

As Unicorn (Principal Shiloh Seymour) and T-Rex (Assistant Principal Evelyn Bigby) exit their school to begin the Perfect Attendance deliveries, the neon sign behind them appropriately begins to scroll Harlem Elementary's mantra: WE LOVE OUR STUDENTS!

In these social distancing times, Shiloh Seymour, Principal at Harlem Elementary School, and Evelyn Bigby, Elementary Assistant Principal, took the wearing of masks and gloves to an entirely different level to celebrate their students' attendance.

Because Seymour and Bigby wanted to honor their students for their attendance this past school year, while also bringing some humor and fun to the achievement, they travelled to the homes of their students on Wednesday, May 20, to hand out attendance awards. To ensure that they were following strict guidelines for interacting with others, the two administrators dressed in inflatable-style, full body costumes.

"We wanted to do something special because it's hard to achieve perfect attendance," Seymour said. "So, we looked on Amazon to get costume ideas for what to wear."

Dressed as a unicorn, Seymour was referred to as a mythical creature by her staff. Bigby dressed up as a Tyrannosaurus rex, whom Seymour jokingly called a "psycho T."

"The costumes were bulky, so we took some time in the gym to practice walking and navigating in them," Seymour reported. "We had fun rehearsing, but we also discovered that they can get a little warm."

According to Seymour, the door-to-door award event was a collaborative effort with Taylor Faulkinberry-Richardson, Elementary Secretary, operating the video camera; Janice Gilham, Computer Technology Assistant, taking photographs; and Steven Hopkins driving the bus.

"We rode in the short bus because we couldn't imagine how we'd drive in these bulky costumes," Seymour stated.

Eleven students received Perfect Perfect Attendance Awards, which Seymour explained means no absences, no tardies, and no early check outs. Each member of this diligent group earned an iPod to recognize their achievement:

• Exavier Bear (Third Grade)

• Mikaela Doney (Fifth Grade)

• Chloe Green (Fourth Grade)

• Bridger Hawley (Fourth Grade)

• Emily Hockhalter (First Grade)

• Braden Horn (Second Grade)

• Madison Mount (Fifth Grade)

• Brooklyn Snow (Third Grade)

• LaShaia Snow (Third Grade)

• Jarah Wilson (Sixth Grade)

• Curtis Windy Boy (Fifth Grade)

Ten additional students had one day or fewer during which an absence, tardy, or early check out was recorded. The members of that group earned a Kindle Fire for their Near Perfect Attendance:

• Elizabeth Baker (Kindergarten)

• Shadyn Speakthunder (First Grade)

• Arin Healy-Paris (Second Grade)

• Isaac Bear (Second Grade)

• Kaydee Brown (Second Grade)

• Winston Stewart Jr (Third Grade)

• Mila Wing (Fourth Grade)

• Jeremiah Brockie (Fourth Grade)

• Nolan Bigby (Fifth Grade)

• Nichaé La Farrar (Sixth Grade)

According to Seymour, these awards are part of the school's budget. "The School Board and the District Office don't usually balk on this fairly large expenditure since it sends such a positive message," Seymour announced.

If lucky individuals of additional awards were on their route, Bigby and Seymour also distributed prize boxes to winners of what the school is calling "Covid-19 Homework Packet Drawing Winners." Any students who completed all of their homework packets in a given week while enduring quarantine conditions earned a ROARing Ticket. These tickets bearing their names were then entered into a drawing, which occurred during morning announcements on May 20. One student from each teacher's classroom was selected to receive a box of games and other goodies:

• Thomas Messerly

• Zara Doney

• Jesse Messerly

• Kellcyn Thomas-Sangrey

• Kendall Lamebull

• Shiloh Grant

• Kyleigh Cochran

• Elihas Filesteel

• Apryll Brockie

• Kandin Little

• Lucas Blackcrow

• Benjamin Barrows

• Xander Young

• Dain Begay

• Marlee Brown

• Mikaela Doney

• Phoenix Hawley

• Taliyah Goes Ahead

• Nichaé La Farrar

• Kelan Horn

• Sebastian Rutherford

Kindergarten through second grade prize winners received a box containing the games Connect 4, Yahtzee, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Uno, Big Boggle, and Sorry!; in addition to a bubble tube, water balloons, Slip and Slide, sidewalk chalk, and a paint with water activity book.

Braden Horn is all smiles as T-Rex and Unicorn give him a round of applause for his Perfect Perfect Attendance achievement.

Prize boxes for third through sixth grade winners contained the games Sorry!, Connect 4, Yahtzee, Scrabble, and DOS-a card game like UNO but with a challenging twist; along with gel pens, coloring and puzzle books, water balloons, and a deck of cards.

Covid-19 Homework Packet Drawing Winners who were not on the May 20 Perfect Attendance Route will need to make arrangements to pick up their prize boxes by calling the Harlem Elementary School office at 353-2258.

On May 21, starting at 1:00 p.m., the Harlem staff held a bus parade down Main Street in Harlem before making their way out to the Agency to wish all of their students a safe and happy summer.

An announcement on Facebook asked students and their families to enjoy the bus parade while keeping a safe social distance as they lined the street.


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