Local Rhinebeck businesses such as the Rhinebeck Deli, A.J. Stickles, Samuel’s of Rhinebeck, and Captain Pizza provided gift certificates that were presented to Rhinebeck High School by Colleen Cruikshank, Executive Director of the Rhinebeck Chamber of Commerce, at their Chamber Breakfast of December 22.  The gift certificates will be used to recognize student winners of the Rhinebeck Respect Award.  The Rhinebeck High School Women’s and Men’s Choirs performed a series of a capella selections for the Chamber members following the presentation of the gift certificates.

Recipients of the Rhinebeck Respect Award are individuals who live up to the District’s core value of respect in their performance in and outside of the classroom, in the daily example they set, in the way they treat others, and/or in their treatment of our environment.  Students are nominated for the award by faculty or by non-instructional support staff.

Over the past two years, RHS faculty have worked with the Center for Social and Emotional Education (CSEE) from of Columbia University to find ways to support and improve upon the positive school climate that already exists at the high school.  Having digested the results of a community survey and having worked with experts from CSEE, RHS initiated a school climate program entitled Rhinebeck Respect in February, 2010 The program began by identifying with students and staff members who make up the school community the qualities that make the school unique, and with the creation of the Rhinebeck Respect Award.  It continues this year with the addition of weekly quotations and lesson plans which explore the concept of respect and its relation to the various content areas and our school community.

“We are fortunate to have the support of the Rhinebeck school community in collaboration with the larger Rhinebeck-area community as we continue in our efforts to recognize our young people and improve the learning environment in our schools.  We are especially grateful to the Rhinebeck-area Chamber of Commerce and their member businesses for recognizing the importance of encouraging a school environment conducive to outstanding teaching, learning and extended levels of achievement for all students, and for supporting us in this endeavor,” said Joseph Phelan, Superintendent of Schools.

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