To celebrate a year of good deeds, Huffman ISD held a knighting ceremony May 12 for students who demonstrated outstanding behavior complying with the character education program, Early Act First Knight. The ceremony featured medieval music and decorations and Sir Cass, an armored knight from Knights of the Guild, who knighted and awarded medals to students while their peers watched from the audience. Accolades were also read describing why each student was chosen as a role model. “It’s been a real blessing,” said Huffman ISD superintendent Dr. Douglas Killian. “The students have soared. We are seeing a drop in discipline referrals and a very service-oriented student body. They have taken on projects to help in Haiti and, closer to home, a project supporting two students’ battle with cancer.” Since the program’s beginning last fall, students have watched a jousting tournament, participated in character building lessons, volunteered and attended knighting ceremonies. The program is sponsored by the of Humble Intercontinental Rotary Club and is owned and operated by Knights of the Guild, a nonprofit, education service organization. Every six weeks, teachers choose 10 students to be knighted in each grade from Ben Bowen Early Childhood Center, Copeland Elementary School, Huffman Intermediate School and Huffman Middle School who exemplify the character traits studied during that six weeks. Chosen students find out the day of the ceremony that they will be knighted. Once a child is chosen for knighthood, the students’ parents are secretly invited to attend and congratulate their child, said Killian. “There is an air of excitement as kids wait to see who is knighted. What is so amazing is the amount of support that kids show for those knighted,” said Killian. “Lots of cheering and tears of pride and joy are the norm at our ceremonies.” Students study the Early Act First Knight curriculum along with their core curriculum. The program emphasizes the Rotary Club motto of “Service Above Self” and teaches students responsibility, confidence, perseverance and service through a combination of lessons, role plays and service project opportunities, said Killian. Students volunteered for activities organized by student council, National Junior Honor Society and a student rotary club. For more information, contact Huffman ISD’s Executive Director for Curriculum and Program Services Jean Isaly at 281-324-1871 or contact Valerie Trigg Copley with the Humble Intercontinental Rotary Club at 281-540-2700. Information regarding EarlyAct FirstKnight can be found at Photo: Shelby Russell, a seventh-grader at Huffman Middle School, stands with Sir Cass after being knighted.

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