High school graduation celebrates the successful completion of academic courses, but students achieve much more than just classroom learning throughout their years in school. In some cases, students who didn't make the honor roll or gain acceptance into honor societies may feel left out during the ceremony. One way to recognize non-academic achievements is to offer students customized graduation stoles. Here are just a few ideas you can implement to make sure that all the successes of your students are recognized during the graduation ceremony.
Student Athlete Sashes
Recognize teamwork and the spirit of friendly competition with student athlete sashes. You can have stoles embroidered with the simple phrase "student athlete" for a basic way to recognize all your athletic teams. Another option is to work with art students to create custom designs for each sport. Softball and baseball, for example, might feature a design with a ball and bat. Soccer and basketball team members might enjoy sashes with the ball from their respective sport. If your school made it to the state championships, consider commemorating this victory with a custom champion sash.
Some students emerge throughout their years at school as born leaders. They may be the captains of their athletic team, or they may simply go above and beyond to help fellow students. Work with your faculty to identify a group of these leaders to recognize at the graduation ceremony. Even if their grade point averages aren't at the top of the class, this spirit of leadership should be celebrated. Have graduation stoles customized with your school's colors and a message stating "Achievement in Leadership" or a similar statement. Symbols of people holding hands can also make a great addition to your school's leadership sashes.
If your school's extracurricular clubs have elected presidents, help them stand out at graduation with their own customized stoles. You can create a presidential team of these students to be honored at the ceremony. One fun ideal for custom presidential sashes is to create a logo similar to the United States presidential seal, but add your school's mascot at the center. Your students will be happy to share this honor, and they can even add the fact that they were members of the presidential team to their college scholarship applications.
Personal Achievement Sashes
For students who are in special education classes, it can sometimes be difficult to feel like part of the group at graduation. Often, traditional grading scales don't apply to these high school students. This can preclude them from joining honor societies or making the honor roll. Partner with your special education teachers and counselors to identify students who exceeded their individualized education plan goals or those who have overcome obstacles to graduate. Custom sashes with a message recognizing excellence in personal achievement will show the student and their family just how much their hard work has been noticed. With the permission of the students, you can also add additional designs to the sashes, such as the rainbow infinity symbol to celebrate neurodiversity.