Students awarded for excellent performance

Cassidy Foronda, staff reporter

Ten students received the Titan Pride Award on Oct. 28, commending their character during the first quarter of the school year

Recipients of the awards, which will be distributed once every quarter, were honored with a recognition breakfast and an exclusive Titan Pride Award t-shirt, according to founders Megan Bargar and Jennifer Korbar. The event was held in the Student Activities Center with about 70 attendants, including the recognized students, their families, teachers, and invited administration. Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, or FCCLA, catered the event and a pianist was present.

The two founders had wanted to create the award for some time, as their previous schools of employment, Niles North and Lake Zurich, had recognitions as well, according to Korbar and Bargar. With this year being the first breakfast, changes will be made as seen fit. Growth is hoped for and expected, with three more breakfasts planned for this school year.

“I do think we’ll have more nominations [next] time,” Korbar said. “It was such a special event that even after the event, other teachers that hadn’t nominated [students] reached out to [me and Bargar] and told us ‘I really hope we get to be part of this event in the future.’”

Nominations are put forth by teachers that observe commendable Titan Pride in students. Criteria for the award include doing the right thing when no one is watching, making efforts to support a peer, displaying perseverance through adversity, and always seeking to improve oneself and others, according to the Titan Pride Breakfast brochure, which was distributed to staff prior to nominations.

“We had to really talk about who was going to be awarded because [the nominations] were really good and powerful,” Bargar said.

Although the school doesn’t prioritize more involved students purposefully, Hernandez says that it is easier to recognize them when their actions aren’t as subtle.

“I think, since they are involved, they are just more easily picked out from crowds,” Hernandez said. “[The award takes] it a step further and allows teachers and staff to nominate students that perhaps aren’t as involved, […] but deserve just as much recognition and praise.”

According to Guidance Counselor Socorro Rogers, who nominated junior Rosa Hernandez-Dominguez, the accolade allows for recognition of students’ intangibles, which conventionally tend to fall under the radar.

“[Intangibles] are things you cannot measure, [and] there is no award for, [that],” Rogers said. “There [are] so many qualities [students] have that aren’t measured the way we do here at GBS.”

Rogers says that there are so many students at GBS that go unnoticed, although they are doing well for themselves not only in the classroom, but in the choices they make for themselves outside of it.

“The overall goal [of the award] is to be a little more inclusive in who else needs to be recognized that would normally fly under the radar,” Rogers said.

Terry Jozwik, Model UN Supervisor who nominated sophomore Alex Economou, recommended him for the additional work he does towards the club. According to Economou, he spent his summer at Georgetown University honing his debate and research skills.Jozwik says that when Economou came back with that training, he was ready to help other members.

“I just love the kind of kid that makes that kind of effort and is willing to share his knowledge and information,” Jozwik said. “He’s just so earnest and sincere.”

Economou says that the honor is gratifying in the sense that it rewards students for their character, as opposed to other competitive recognitions.

“This [award is] probably better than [awards received through Model UN] because I didn’t have to debate with someone to get it,” Economou said. “It was just me being recognized for my hard work, which I really enjoy.”