COURTESY PHOTO - Williams/Ledger Elementary principal Marla Sullivan asks students how many of them will make straight A’s on their report cards the next six weeks so they can attend Sweets with Sullivan. All 40 students in attendance raised their hands.

Principal’s homemade treats inspire students to achieve


Special to Leader-Press

With 200 A’s, 40 students on the honor roll are being rewarded with a homemade treat straight from the top.

Sweets with Sullivan at Williams/Ledger Elementary originated in the fall semester of 2015 in response to a suggestion in a Parent Advisory Committee meeting. The parent had noticed the big push on attendance and shared that at her children’s previous school, the students who earned the letter grades of all A’s on their report cards got extra attention such as pizza parties, special breakfast, etc.

With all the guidelines regarding competitive foods and food of minimal nutritional value, Principal Marla Sullivan had to think of something that would not violate the rules.

She enjoys baking, so she chose the name “Sweets with Sullivan” because it went well with cookies. Students in 2nd-5th grades who makes all A’s on their report cards get homemade cookies and orange juice and get to enjoy them with the principal. Sullivan typically makes chocolate chip cookies because that seems to be the favorite. Since the parent/teacher organization began selling spirit sticks, she also purchased those and awards each student a spirit stick during Sweets with Sullivan.

Silas Wilson, 8, is a straight-A second grade student from teacher Melanie Craig’s class.

“I love homemade cookies and will continue to study hard to be able to come every time,” Wilson said.

For 10-year old Jaxon Chaco in teacher Anthony Baney’s 4th grade class, coming to Sweets with Sullivan is a regular occurrence.

“I’ve been coming to Sweets with Sullivan since last year and I will continue to have straight A’s to be a part of this awesome sweet event that Mrs. Sullivan is giving to all A students,” Chaco said, smiling. “I love the spirit stick and I have so many already.”

Sullivan said making and handing out the cooking really did not seems like a “big deal” when it started, but she has gotten many hugs and thank-you sentiments from the students, and several parents have taken the time to let her know how much they appreciate the time she spends recognizing the students’ hard work.

“It really helps keep that positive relationship growing and it is an incentive for many kids.” Sullivan said. “At least 70 percent of the students who were recognized on March 3rd have been at each event this school year. About half of them shared that they’d been at every Sweets with Sullivan since we started in 2015.”

Sullivan said she is very proud of her students’ hard work and baking cookies is just a small way that she can show them what they do at school really matters to her.

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