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PECS Praise Patrol rewards teachers

BRIGHTON — Some Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School teachers and paraprofessionals are being rewarded by a weekly visit from a cartload of treats and supplies, which are free for the taking.

It’s called the Praise Patrol and it recognizes teachers and paras for their successful use of the school’s Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) program, which focuses on positive student behavior and leads to more productive learning.

Teacher Gwen Hall, paraprofessional Billie Joe Shorter and their second grade class gather around the Praise Patrol cart filled with goodies for the PECS teachers. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

The program ties essential best teaching practices with the TRIBE (Trustworthy, Respectful, Individuals who are Brave and Eager to learn) initiative in place at the school since 2016. Each week an essential rule becomes the focus for the week and is announced on the PECS morning news program.

In their roles as the Praise Patrol, Principal Brian Greseth, Instructional Coach Vicki Paige and Dean Emma Johns Brown observe the teachers throughout the week and take note of those who are using the targeted rule successfully.

Paraprofessional Nicki White, left, and ESE teacher Doni Barnhill choose their rewards from the PECS Praise Patrol cart. (Photo Beverly Bidney)

“Here at PECS we recognize that the implementation of a program like PBIS will only be as successful as those who are instrumental in the implementation process. This year, to show our appreciation of their support of the PBIS program, we have implemented a positive reward system for them as well. Each week selected teachers and Paras are surprised with a visit from the Praise Patrol and rewarded with a selection of goodies and gifts to say thank you for supporting the PBIS mission. They will also have their picture taken and are highlighted on the announcements for the entire school to see,” Brown wrote in an email.

The aim of the PBIS and TRIBE programs is to create a positive classroom environment based on the TRIBE characteristics. Posters are everywhere at the school – in classrooms, hallways and public areas – to reinforce those behaviors.

Teachers aren’t the only ones rewarded for following the program; students earn TRIBE bucks which can be traded for treats such as snow cones, cotton candy, off-campus lunch and more on reward days. Since its inception, PBIS has been successful in significantly lowering the amount of office discipline referrals and out of school suspensions.

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at

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