Blairsville PAWS Pride

Blairsville High School seniors Ashton Stiles and Brenna Henry presented posters for Blairsville Elementary School’s new positive behavior program, Paws Pride, during the kickoff assembly Sept. 27. (Marissa Fay/Blairsville High School)

PAWS stands for: Be Prepared, Act respectfully, Work hard, Stay safe. The program was introduced by Principal Amy Citeroni and organized by teachers Denise Fazi and Susan Slezak.

The kickoff of the program was promoted by the high school band, chorus and senior athletes, who welcomed the elementary students to the middle school gym. All BES students wore their PAWSitive Pride shirts, which were provided by the BES PTO to show support for the program.

The band and chorus then performed for the students while the senior athletes reinforced the rules and expectations by introducing signs that will be displayed throughout the school.

The cheerleaders then performed a cheer promoting the program. To the surprise of the children, the teachers and high school students performed the “Git Up” dance.

Overall, the event’s main goal is to create a positive atmosphere in the school. Fazi said, “All students were taught the same expected behaviors for all areas of the school — cafeteria, hallways, bus, recess, restroom, assemblies — since the beginning of the year.

Students will be kind and respectful to not only their teachers and the adults in the building, but to their peers as well. BES will be a safe place where everyone wants to be.”

Both Fazi and Slezak agree that the students absolutely enjoyed it. Everyone was able to come together and “have a fun time,” Ms. Fazi said, while being taught a lesson that will be reinforced throughout the school year.