Troy Fast called the first-ever recipients of Manteca High’s Honor The Code patch an “eclectic” group.
By that, the 57 honored at the Thursday assembly held at Mulvihill Theater represented a cross-section of the student body.
But what they had in common was the colorful HTC bracelets. Each of the wrist apparel represented a positive decision or choice.
“This is not just for the smart, athletic or leadership (type) student but that good kid who makes the right choices,” said Physical Education teacher and coach Andrea Hiatt.
According to Fast, who is the vice principal – he handles disciplinary matters along with attendance – those students recognized with the HTC patch tallied 12 points or better.
A character bracelet, for example, was worth one point, academic achievement earned three points and the White Buffalo MVP was the big one with four points.
Nearly half of the 1,600 students at MHS came close to achieving that magic mark.
HTC was initiated by Fast upon the urging of Principal Frank Gonzales, who was in favor of a launching a program with a positive affirmation for all students.
“We needed to recognize them in positive ways and for making positive contributions,” he recalled.
Fast was inspired to get HTC rolling after attending last year’s Renaissance conference. Renaissance is a national program established to recognized students with positive, tangible incentives.
From it came HTC, recognizing students on campus with the bracelets for their various efforts – character, academics, arts, sports, attendance, etc.
“If it failed or succeeded, we were going to do it this year,” said Moriah Saldana, who was one of the students attending Renaissance.
She’s also noticed a change in attitude at school since HTC was implemented. “It’s united us as students,” Saldana said.
Character is a big part of this MHS program, according to Gonzales. He indicated that 7,000 bracelets – each recognizing a positive affirmation – were distributed on campus this year.
“This program has exceeded expectations,” said Gonzales, who already looking forward to next year’s HTC. “It’s going to be even bigger.”