Rhinelander High School celebrates a successful school yearSubmitted: 05/27/2015

Students at Rhinelander High School hoped they would be driving home in a new car Wednesday afternoon. The prize was part of the school's year-end celebration. The car was the top prize connected to the school's Positive Behavior Initiatives and Supports initiative.

This is the third year that the school district has been involved with the initiative. Throughout the year students who display good behaviors such as being on time and assisting others in the classroom can receive special green cards.

These cards are collected and are put into drawings where students can win prizes such as free pizzas from Dominos. The drawings are a weekly event but the green cards are also held over the year for an end of the year grand prize drawing.

Brittany Haakenson, an art teacher at Rhinelander High School, has been very involved with the initiative and the planning for Wednesday's assembly.  She was excited for the work the initiative has been able to accomplish and for the grand prize; a new car. "It's totally random and whoever gets that special key, there is going to be six keys that won't open the car, but there will be that one winner," said Haakenson.

Students agree that the program has proven to be very effective.  Faith Carris a junior at Rhinelander High School has also been involved with the initiative throughout the year. She feels that it is having a positive effect on students. "I do believe it is a good thing because it is helping our non-tardy policy," Carris said. "We have had less and less 'tardys' each year".

In fact, the initiative has cut the number of tardys almost in half since it started three years ago. The school is extremely grateful for the community's support of the initiative. It plans to utilize PBIS more and more over the next school years.

While the car give away certainly was the main event for the celebration, other students were recognized as well.

Some of these students were members in a new DECA or Distributive Education Clubs of America program. This program is new to Rhinelander High School and is based off its FBLA or Future Business Leaders of America Program.

Students can compete at various levels such as regionals and state. Five students even made it as far as an international competition. Haley Sisel, Alison Kubeny, Mike Anderson, Morgan Blaser, and Erin Tenderholt all traveled to Orlando at the end of April to compete against over 18,000 students from across the nation and globe.

Mike Anderson excelled on the international stage and was able to place in the top ten in the category of Personal Financial Literacy. He was very excited for the opportunity. "It was awesome, I mean being the first year being able to take fourth in internationals was incredible," Anderson said. "I never expected it and I guess it was just an awesome experience in whole."

Mike will enroll in UW-Oshkosh this fall where he plans to get a finance degree.

Wednesday's celebration was the culmination of another successful school year. One that the school plans to repeat for years to come.



Story By: Bryan Konicek

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