Ben Lomond shows future students a glimpse of a Scot's life

Apr 27 2012 - 11:16pm

Images

(Erin Hooley/Standard-Examiner) Gramercy Elementary School Principal Becky Hale plays the piano as accompaniment for the musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden on Friday.
(Erin Hooley/Standard-Examiner) Gramercy Elementary School Principal Becky Hale sings the Ben Lomond High School hymn with students from her school at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden on Friday.
(Erin Hooley/Standard-Examiner) The cast of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" performs at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden on Friday.
(Erin Hooley/Standard-Examiner) Gramercy Elementary School Principal Becky Hale plays the piano as accompaniment for the musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden on Friday.
(Erin Hooley/Standard-Examiner) Gramercy Elementary School Principal Becky Hale sings the Ben Lomond High School hymn with students from her school at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden on Friday.
(Erin Hooley/Standard-Examiner) The cast of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" performs at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden on Friday.

OGDEN -- About 450 future Ben Lomond Scots looked to their future as they clasped hands and sang the school's hymn Friday morning -- singing each word by heart and not missing a beat.

The Gramercy Elementary students sang the hymn for members of Ben Lomond's student body, who then offered them a peek of the school's musical about Charlie Brown.

Gramercy Principal Becky Hale got the idea to start a "Future Scots" program when one of her employees, Jared Burningham, was assistant coach with the Ben Lomond basketball team. He was talking about the games with Gramercy students, and he and Hale thought it would be fun to start taking them to Ben Lomond basketball games.

Hale is a graduate of Ben Lomond and wanted her students to feel a sense of pride before they enter the doors as students. She worked with the district to get buses to take her students to the home games and worked with Ben Lomond Principal Ben Smith to allow the students free admittance.

She then started using the games for "leverage," as she put it; if her students behaved well, they could earn a trip to the game.

Students earned "High Five Tickets," which are tickets with five rules students must be following. The rules are be responsible, be respectful, keep hands and feet to yourself, follow directions, and be at school and ready to work.

Students had to earn five "high fives" to go a game. Once at the game, there were more rules to follow to earn the privilege to come again.

"I toed the line, but most had never seen a high school basketball game and they were so excited," Hale said.

Ben Lomond fever caught on quickly at the elementary school, and every other Friday, auctions were held and Ben Lomond merchandise was auctioned off. Many students sported Ben Lomond apparel and were excited to wear it to the games.

Once the season was over, the students loved it so much that they extended the season by attending girls basketball games, too.

One of the students, Jose Lagunes, 9, thought going to the games was magic, believing it actually helped the team win.

"Well, we always win," Jose said with a big grin.

Jose said he loves every chance he gets to go to Ben Lomond games.

"I get to see my high school before I'm in high school," he said. "I'm happy to be a future Scot."

Sixth-grader Chloe Everson said the experience has made her excited for high school and to be involved when she gets there. She loved going to the games all winter and even helped cheer.

She especially loved the rivalry games with Ogden High School and how excited everyone was. She regularly wears her Ben Lomond T-shirt with pride.

After the basketball season ended, Hale wanted to keep the Future Scot program alive and brought up the idea of bringing her students to a dress rehearsal of the musical, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

Hale, who plays piano for the musical, knew her students would love it. Many of her students had never seen a musical before.

Her teachers have also caught the spirit. All of the teachers wore Ben Lomond apparel for the performance on Friday.

Hale has been thrilled with the behavior of her students and the respectful way her students are acting because of the positive Future Scot incentive program. She admitted that she wasn't sure how it would work at first.

"I was scared to death before that first game," she said.

But she soon realized her students were serious about good behavior and continue to be. She hopes to continue to program with other Future Scot incentives, and her students will definitely fill the seats at future basketball games and other Scot events.

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