Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Friends and Neighbors: Dwane Christman


Tonia Copeland

Dwane Christman was crowned King for a day at Mary Lynch Elementary school.

You don't need a cape to be a hero, you just need to care.

That is just one message students and staff relayed to, and about, Dwane Christman, an everyday hero who has worked at Mary Lynch Elementary in Kimball since 2002.

"He does a tremendous amount, not just around the school, but he does a tremendous amount for our students," Mary Lynch Guidance Counselor Jim Reeves said. "He has a good rapport with the students and is very deserving of this honor."

The student body joined staff members to recognize Christman's exemplary service and positive attitude on Thursday, Nov. 10 with a surprise celebration.

The recognition stemmed from the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) committee, who wanted to honor someone that embodied the positive behavior expected at the school.

PBIS is a program that schools are following, to put together expectations and concentrate on good behaviors.

"We put up school-wide expectations so the students know what expectations to follow and all of the teachers are on board," said Jim Reeves, Mary Lynch guidance counselor. "The expectations are clear from year to year."

The program recognizes and reinforces students for positive behavior and Reeves said that teachers are asked to recognize four positive behaviors for each negative behavior.

While the purpose of PBIS is to reinforce positive student behavior, this week Mary Lynch students experienced the joy of honoring Christman for modeling the expected positive attitude.

They gathered with staff in the gym at 8:30, practiced their chants and then waited patiently for Christman to arrive.

Tonia Copeland

Students and staff honored him with chants and posters that had positive messages, such as "You were made to be awesome."

As he entered the gym he was overcome with joy and surprise at all the youngsters' greetings and chants.

They crowned Christman "King for a Day," and as he sat in recliner that was brought in just for the occasion, he was given two t-shirts and a Hometown Hardware gift certificate in gratitude for all of his hard work, but also for his constant positive attitude.

"They did an awesome job keeping it a secret, I had no idea whatsoever! It was a good surprise, even the little kids kept the secret," Christman said. "Everything is the best part of my job; I like what I do. The kids and the staff, administration and school board are all just very special. I love my job. Everybody treats me very well and I try to treat them the same. This is a team, and we all work together and the kids are why we are there."


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