This month’s National Renaissance Staffulty of the Month is Amber Carls from Flanagan-Cornell High School in Flanagan, Illinois. Amber is off to a great start with the school’s first official year of Renaissance.

What’s a favorite Renaissance moment for you?
For me, the big moment was at the end of our first quarter. We held our first academic achievement assembly. It gave us the opportunity to recognize the students of the month, Staffulty member of the month, as well as all our Honor Roll and High Honor Roll students. It was great to see these students being recognized in front of their peers for all of their hard work and determination.

But I also love to focus on the little moments too. Any time a student or staffulty member positively recognizes someone else, it makes my heart smile.

How has Renaissance impacted your school’s culture?

Physically our school looks different when you enter our building. We have repainted walls and bathroom stalls with motivational sayings. We have recognition bulletin boards and the Jostens stairway stickers going though our hallways. Everyone in our building knows and uses the term “Staffulty.”

But Renaissance has also changed the way our school feels. We have created a student-led Renaissance group called Orange Crush. This group is actively working to make every student feel they are important and have a place in our school. They are organizing super-fan and tailgating events, movie night at Halloween, and making sure all students feel welcome and included. I am beyond impressed with how well our students and Staffulty have embraced Renaissance.

How has Renaissance affected you personally?
It is hard to put into words how Renaissance has affected my life personally. From the first time I took students to listen to Mike Smith and PC present, I knew I had to be a part of Renaissance.  I attended my first Jostens National Convention this summer and realized this was part of my calling.

I am first and foremost an educator. But being a teacher does not stop when the bell rings. I want students to enjoy school, feel they belong, and be part of experiences that will leave lasting memories. Renaissance has helped put these into action and become a reality.

What advice would you give to someone just starting with Renaissance?

Just start. It doesn’t matter how small the action is, just start. Do not let obstacles or nay-sayers deter you. Lean on the Renaissance family for help, guidance, and motivation. Follow as many of us as you can on social media; that was my happy place at times. Lastly, focus on the little successes because those will lead to large ones.

Amber will receive a shirt and a lapel pin, and was entered into a drawing for free registration to this year’s Jostens Renaissance National Conference.

To nominate someone in your school for the National Renaissance Staffulty of the Month honor, click here.

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