Annual Choice Awards provide wide range of recognition


Morgan Vehige

Math teacher Patricia Mabie keeps the photos taken at the Choice Awards in her room. Even today, Mabie is still in contact with many of the students she selected for her Choice Award. “Those are kids I’ve had a really good connection with and I like knowing where they are in life. I still keep in touch with other kids too, but there’s always something extra special about that Choice Award selection,” she said.

Morgan Vehige

The annual Choice Awards will be held on Thursday. May 6 from 7:15-8 a.m.

“The Choice Award is really a special award that is given at Lafayette by any staff member, it doesn’t have to be a teacher or administrator. The beauty of the award is that a staff member can give it for any reason. Some people might pick for academic reasons, some might pick them just because they are a great person. It’s really for any reason, which is always a nice thing,” Assistant Principal Colleen Fields said.

Fields is excited to continue the annual ceremony to this school year. She, along with Assistant Principal Kirti Mehrotra, librarian Nichole Ballard-Long, industrial technology teacher Jodie Fowler and math teacher Patricia Mabie have been responsible for putting together this year’s event.

Last year, due to COVID-19, each staff member filmed a video of themselves talking about their Choice Award student. From there, Ballard-Long put together each of the clips into one long video for the students to see and the principals to send out to the parents.

“It was hard not getting to do that in person, but it was nice still getting to recognize my choice award in a good way,” Mabie said.

The ceremony will take place in the Main Gym, with language arts teacher David Choate serving as emcee. Each student was given two tickets for guests to attend the ceremony. The students will be in the Back Gym, watching the livestream video, and the staff members will be in the Multi-Purpose Room. This is being done to make sure the number of people together at one time remains low.

When it is time for a student to be recognized, they will go into the Main Gym together to be recognized in front of the guests in attendance and then will go into the Commons for a photo and reception.

“We’re trying to keep it moving and keep it smooth,” Fields said.

For Fields, the award is one of her favorites to give at Lafayette because she appreciates the chance to recognize students from all across the school, not just in specific areas.

“It’s one of my favorite awards because I get to pick the person that I want. This is my 22nd year at Lafayette and it has been here since all of my years. Especially now more than ever, with COVID, everyone needs a little sunshine in their life right now and this is a great way for us to get that.”

Mabie agreed. For her, each year brings about a new way to select a student, but the foundation of having a good connection with the student remains.

“My criteria for the award changes every year. For me, sometimes it’s a kid I have a good connection with, sometimes it’s a kid who’s super helpful, it doesn’t have to be the kid who has a perfect score on everything,” Mabie said. “It can be a kid for any reason, and I love that every teacher can have their own reason for it. I love that we get to spread out that recognition to those kids.”

For those unable to attend the event in-person, it will be live streamed through the link on Lafayette’s athletics page.