At Parkway Central, students are able to be recognized for a variety of achievements in the classroom, on the sports field, and in leadership positions. One award that showcases students of great moral character who represent the core values of Parkway Central is the Spirit of Central award. The recipients of this award are often known to do the right thing, even when no one is watching.
“Academic, extracurricular, and other achievements are all important but all of us can aspire to be a good person and I think that we value that as a community,” Principal Tim McCarthy said.
It is important to have students who commit core values to be shown from their teachers that what they are doing is making an impact on the people around them. Sometimes students can be helping someone out even without knowing it.
One example of a student who is willing to make a difference is senior Sasha Yarovinski. As an office aid, many students take the time to do homework or complete other tasks in their free time but Sasha wanted to be as helpful as possible.
“I don’t view office aid as an hour that is solely a time to do homework, but I make helping Mr. Dallas and Mrs. Orf a priority and continue to work hard on my own things while still devoting time on the help they need me to take care of,” Yarovinski said.
Yarovinski makes sure to use the time that she has to be productive and do something good for others as well. She wants to be a helpful person towards everyone while still being responsible for everything she needs to get done.
“I think I am a hard working person with good time management because that’s how my parents always raised me to be. I utilize these qualities to benefit myself and the people around me, especially when I am an office aid and I have to juggle the things I need to get done,” Yarovinski said.
Not only is Yarovinski helpful as an office aid but she strives to help others around her. As a senior and a member of the Parkway Central Dance Team she always works to help those girls feel comfortable and happy.
“Being on the dance team makes me feel like a leader because I feel like the younger girls look up to the upperclassmen,” Yarovinski said. “Earning this award just reassures me how you can make an impact on the people who you surround yourself with. For many teachers and administrators, it can be difficult when deciding which students to choose for these awards. With so many students here at Parkway Central, there are many people who are deserving of an award such as the spirit of the central award. According to Dr. Sarah Power, there is no specific reason a teacher should give the award but they are bringing something good to the school environment.
“When I think about who should receive the award I just think of someone who gives up their time to help others. So that could be a number of different reasons including just continuing to work hard in class, just people who are good human beings,” Power said.
When many students wonder about why they got the award they think mostly of just helping the people around them and being an overall good person in the school community. Senior Kevin Thomas received this award from McCarthy for always showing a great school spirit towards everyone around him.
“Kevin is the epitome of a super fan and is always present at everything. I’ve just watched him grow of the four years and seeing him move from the freshman section of sports games to the front of the senior section is fantastic,” McCarthy said. “I just enjoy having the opportunity to watch him grow with his commitment to the school community and I have a lot of respect for him for that which is why I wanted to recognize him for it.”
This is Thomas’ first year receiving the Spirit of Central award and he was very surprised when he received it. It’s the outgoing personality that leads him to receive the award.
“I think I represent the values that the school wants to embody and I am always nice to people and generally bright and positive,” Thomas said.
Even new teachers to Parkway Central believe for these awards to be important. As a first-year teacher here at PCH, English teacher Sarah Burgess thought there were so many deserving students for this award simply for their positive attitudes and hard work.
“Students who exhibit a growth mindset are noticed and appreciated by their teachers. They do not let themselves be limited by challenges, but use challenges as opportunities for growth,” Burgess said.
These awards are here to show what teachers and students believe to be important characteristics to display at Parkway Central. They not only recognize students for the kind actions they are showing others but they are displaying the idea of perseverance and characteristics that everyone is aiming to work towards.
“When we talk about character and character education, these students who received the award manifest the qualities that as a school we are attempting to reach,” Burgess said. “Public acknowledgment of these qualities lifts a school culture because it communicates that these standards are not just something we talk about or list on a poster, we live them out and we honor students who live them out.”
While it is hard for teachers to only choose a few students every year who receive the award, there are so many students who deserve it. However, the main point of these awards ar

e to display even further the kindness and good qualities everyone wants to spread around the school to better the people around you.
“I think this award just speaks to what we value and these principle values share a commitment to our school as a community,” McCarthy said. “I think the Spirit of Central Awards just recognize that this is an award for kids just being good people.”