Student Recognition Award and Banquet in Elementary School

As educators, we know the value of recognizing students for their hard work and excellent behavior.

However, what about those students who consistently earn the honor roll, who are always in attendance, who are responsible young men and women day in and day out?  Yes, they get the same reward as everyone else.

But, why not give them a little bit more honor and recognition for being the model student?  That is exactly what we did and why we created an award’s program called Stars in Excellence.  Stars in Excellence is for our upper elementary grades.  For me, we begin this in fifth and sixth grade only.  It is an award’s banquet strictly for the older grades.


Items purchased for decorations can be used multiple years.  This helps save on the budget.
Gold stars and gift packing paper added for extra decorations.
Placemats (school color)

Last year (2019), we decided it was time to set aside time dedicated in honor of these students.  To begin selecting the students, we knew we needed to be consistent in selecting these students.  Therefore, we created a criteria checklist.


Feel free to take our criteria list and tweak it to fit your campus.

1.  Must be recommended by their core subject area teachers.  All the teachers need to agree this student is worthy of the award.
2.  Have an overall semester average of 90 or higher in all subject areas.
3.  Exhibits exemplary behavior, character, and attitude.
4.  No unexcused absences.


1.  Welcome and Introductions by Principal
2.  About the Award by Assistant Principal
3.  Dinner was served.  We had a Taco Buffet.
4.  Teachers presented awards and shared meaningful messages about each student.
5.  Parents and students came up to the front and received certificate and were pinned by their parents/guardians.
6.  The slides showed a picture of each student, their name, and grade level.


Pictured above: Invitation and Table Sign
An invitation was sent home with the student two weeks in advance.  My 5th graders received personal calls from me since this was their first year to experience the award.


We wanted to take a minute to showcase the parents and guardians who were in attendance for helping their child perform so well in school.  I think we often forget this in awards.  However, there is so much value in recognizing the parents for instilling values of relentlessness, leadership, and academics in their child.  Parents were asked to come up to the front with their child and receive the award along side of their child.  In addition, a photographer was stationed in front to chapter the parent/guardian pinning their child.  The pin can be seen in the picture on top of the certificates.


The meal wasn’t too expensive since I was feeding up to 75 attendees.  We ordered from Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.  The cupcakes were baked by a teacher who also runs a business on the side.

The photographer is a teacher who runs a photography business on the side.  Parents can access the pictures from her as early as the next day.

Backdrop for photographer was purchased here on Amazon.  Again, this is a purchase I can use again for other events on campus.

Stephanie McConnell

Stephanie McConnell

I’m Stephanie, and I’m the face behind Principal Principles. I’m a former principal turned educational consultant, presenter, and edupreneur. I’m obsessed with giving school leaders the tools they need to lead a successful school.

4 Responses

  1. What a wonderful idea! I would love to see something like this implemented on my campus. Definitely going to save this idea for future reference. Thanks so much for always sharing the best! Lana 🙂

  2. There are many ways in which companies can recognise their employees and many reasons to do so. For example, Colt Technology who run a global reward and recognition scheme has focussed on using their scheme to support the implementation of company values. It recognises and rewards its staff for not only working hard and being successful, but also behaving in a way that best represents the business and its values. PerkPal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Stephanie

Hello friend! Welcome to Principal Principles. I’m Stephanie, and I’m the face behind Principal Principles. I’m a former principal turned educational consultant, presenter, and edupreneur. I’m obsessed with giving school leaders the tools they need to lead a successful school.


Join the Facebook Group

Join over 63,000 leaders in our Facebook group!  Principal Principles Leadership is a professional learning network for future and current school leaders. We share ideas and resources every day!

Sign up for the newsletter.

A description of what the benefit is of joining your list.  Updates, sale notifications, resources?  

New in the SHop

You might also be interested in....