LPS middle school Honors Cadre students celebrate achievements

Dozens of middle school students marked a milestone in their lives this spring when they celebrated their Honors Cadre achievements.
Honors Cadre students from Culler, Dawes, Lefler and Mickle gathered at The Career Academy for their final junior high event. This year was the first time eighth graders from all four Lincoln Public Schools buildings came together for the ceremony. End-of-year celebrations for Honors Cadre members were previously held at individual sites.
Mickle Middle School student Emiya beamed with a graduation certificate she received from Honors Cadre leaders during the evening. Emiya said she has had many good experiences in the leadership program throughout middle school. She will take her knowledge with her to Northeast High School this fall.
“I’ve enjoyed being with my classmates,” Emiya said. “We’ve had a lot of fun in the program.”
LPS Emerging Educators Empowerment Specialist Barb Miller co-founded Honors Cadre activities at Lefler nine years ago. She told the audience it was rewarding to see how much the program has grown since that time. Students, parents and guardians filled tables in the commons area for the event, and more than two dozen of Emiya’s classmates smiled with their certificates.
“I am so excited to stand here and look out and recognize how many phenomenal young scholars we are graduating to high school,” Miller said.
Miller and current LPS Director of Secondary Education Jessie Fries came up with the Honors Cadre idea when Fries was principal at Lefler. They wanted to provide a support network for middle schoolers that would help them succeed in their academic journeys.
Honors Cadre students take many advanced courses throughout their time in the program. High school and college mentors provide inspiration and advice to them, and field trips and motivational speakers enrich the entire Honors Cadre experience.
Emiya said the combination of activities both on and off Mickle’s campus have made Honors Cadre memorable. She and her friends have traveled to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, talked with local high schoolers and met LPS graduates who are excelling in their careers.
“The field trips and other opportunities have been awesome,” Emiya said. ‘We’ve gone to UNL a bunch of times.”
Lincoln High freshman Amira was one of six high school students who provided additional insight at the Honors Cadre celebration. They opened the evening with a question-and-answer session about their high school experiences. She encouraged those in junior high to maintain good academic habits in all of their future classes.
“Take your notes and study over them,” Amira said. “Look over your notes 20 minutes a night and it will be worth it.”
Amira also told students to become involved in as many activities as possible. She said she had benefited from participating in both volleyball and track and field this year. In addition to having fun and learning skills like persistence and dedication, the two sports have given her a chance to expand her network of friends.
“Make new friend groups,” Amira said. “Don’t just be with everyone you were with in middle school. Be in those clubs. Be in those sports. You can meet a lot of new people and new friends.”
Honors Cadre leaders recognized each student in attendance after the question-and-answer session. Students from each middle school walked to the front and received an achievement award as their name was called.
Miller closed the evening with three words of wisdom for everyone in attendance.
“Go be great,” Miller said.
For Emiya, that is a goal she will be striving for when she enters Northeast’s hallways for the first time this fall. She said Honors Cadre has given her a solid foundation for her next four years at LPS.
“I’ve learned how to be more confident,” Emiya said. “I’m looking forward to being older and having a lot of good experiences in high school.”

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Published: June 24, 2024, Updated: June 24, 2024

Honors Cadre students and mentors smile during a ceremony at The Career Academy this spring. Students from four middle schools came together to reflect on their time in the Lincoln Public Schools program. Everyone received a certificate for participating in Honors Cadre activities.