Elementary and Middle School students were recognized with certificates of improvement.

Elementary and Middle School students were recognized with certificates of improvement.

Missouri Southern State University recognized the “Most Improved Students” from local elementary and middle schools in the area during halftime of the women’s basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 13.

During the first week of classes following Christmas break, letters were sent out to principals and counselors around the community to distribute to their teachers for nominations of one student from each class.

The criteria for the award was not necessarily academic, but instead was aimed at recognizing one student the teacher believed had shown the most consistent academic progress in the class room from the beginning of the school year last fall up to that point.

Over 200 local students were nominated from 16 area schools for the Most Improved Student Award, and each teacher that put forth a nomination also included a reason why his or her student earned the award for their class. A common theme that arose from all of the descriptions was that the nominees had put forth an extraordinary amount of effort and hard work to improve in their studies and their standing in class.

One such student was Evy Darr from Cecil Floyd Elementary in Joplin. Heather Avery, Evy’s mother who attended the game, said it was a “Fun event for the kiddos! Our family enjoyed celebrating Evy’s accomplishment!”

All the students who were nominated were invited down to mid-court at halftime of the women’s basketball game to be honored for their accomplishment. The students were recognized by school and received a certificate marking their achievement that was hand-signed by University president, Dr. Alan Marble.

“As a University, we are honored to recognize those who have made such an impressive effort to improve in their education,” said Dr. Marble about the Most Improved Student recipients.

Many of the recipients stayed to watch the rest of the women’s basketball game that afternoon.

“I was excited for Evy to see the girls play ball,” said Heather Avery. “This could be her someday if she keeps working hard!”

To view photos from the event, visit Missouri Southern’s facebook page or click here.