North Stars includes staff members for nomination


Ally Price, News Editor

Acceptance. Achievement. Character. Compassion. Excellence. Integrity. Perseverance. Respect. Responsibility.
These traits represent the North Nine, the set of character traits that Appleton North students are expected to exhibit, both at school and in all aspects of their lives.

Since 2013, Appleton North has recognized students who portray these traits through the monthly North Stars nominations program. Each month is assigned to a different trait, and staff nominate students who they believe exemplify that month’s characteristic.

Now, a second branch of the North Stars program has been created. This program works in the same way except that students nominate teachers who they think exhibit the month’s North Nine trait. In February, Appleton North science teacher Mr. Steve Sugrue was chosen as the first North Stars staff winner for representing integrity.

“It’s a good feeling to know that my students feel that I treat them with respect and that they feel like when they need help, I am available for them,” said Mr. Sugrue about being recognized.

The program, which is run by Mr. Curt Salm along with other North teachers, aims to create more awareness of the North Nine throughout the school. Each month, students will be emailed a Google Form that details the trait of the month and allows them to vote for a staff member who they think best represents that trait.

In February, the program received 149 nominations for 40 different North teachers who show integrity. Besides being asked which teacher they think best exemplifies the trait, students are also asked to describe how that staff member shows the trait.

“Students did a very nice job of using integrity as a part of the reason why they nominated the staff member that they did,” said Mr. Salm. Students who nominated Mr. Sugrue gave reasons such as “he is always patient with his students, willing to help, and is a great teacher” and “he is always willing to help and give up his own time to allow students to come in at lunch or after and before class.”

The idea for the staff North Stars program was initially thought of by Mrs. Zitzelsberger, an art teacher at Appleton North. She got the idea from Madison Middle School, which has a similar teacher recognition program.

“North Stars helps staff morale because they’re getting positive feedback from students about how they’re doing,” said Mr. Salm. “I hope all students think about who to nominate and get active in the program because it is nice for teachers to get positive feedback from students.”

Both North Stars programs aim to get North students and faculty thinking about the North Nine as well as giving recognition to people who exemplify the traits.

“It builds a nice climate in the building,” said Mr. Sugrue. “The program gets people thinking about positive characteristics that we want to build in one another, and I am looking forward to seeing other teachers recognized.”