Pizza with the Principal

""“An A for effort goes a long way at Nelson Elementary School in Scottsboro, Alabama. To aid in the promotion of good behavior and school attendance, school principal Dale Hancock brought back a timeless tradition, one he’s incorporated at all of the elementary schools he has served as principal. Pizza with the Principal isn’t something students work toward, it’s something they look forward to.

‘“I’ve had a lot of success with this program,’ said Hancock. Through the ACE program – Attendance Cooperation Everyday – students work to maintain areas of good behavior and perfect school attendance each month. Those who keep a clean record are awarded with a pizza party alongside the principal. The first Pizza with the Principal featured 60 students. Now there are 90 kindergarden through fourth grade students attending each month. Hancock serves the students pizza, reminding them they are his guests of honor.”

And though some students admit they enjoy the one-time break from classwork, the highlight is getting to see their principal put on some lunchroom gloves and hands out the pizza. Students are given the choice between pepperoni or cheese.  Yet the highlight for some students isn’t the taste of the pizza, but Hancock’s eagerness to help.

‘“We want the students to look forward to coming to school and learning,’ he said. “The pizza party is just a little way of showing our appreciation for their dedication. ‘Pizza is my favorite food,’ said Claire Holland. ‘To come here and eat pizza you have to be at school on time, all month long. It’s worth it.’