Awards & Recognition

Our staff strongly advocates positive reinforcement and encouragement as the most powerful tools available to us in bringing about appropriate behaviors in our students.  The following awards are given for academic performance, attendance and school citizenship. 

Academic Letter

The Academic Letter Award represents students doing varsity level academic work in the classroom. 

The criteria students must meet to earn the award are explained below:

  • Students need to earn a 3.33 (B+) grade point average for three consecutive terms.
  • Freshman who earn the 3.33 all three terms of their ninth grade year can earn chenille numbers of their graduating year.  (For example, the class of 2003 earn an "03" numerals.)  Graduating year numbers are only earned the freshman year.
  • Sophomores through seniors can receive the chenille letter "K" with word "academic" printed down the side by earning a grade point average of 3.33 for three consecutive terms.
  • Once a student has earned a letter, three additional consecutive terms of 3.33 will be rewarded with a lamp of learning pin to place on the letter.
  • A student earning a 3.33 for three consecutive terms the third time in their sophomore through senior year will receive an academic letter certificate.

Academic letters are awarded at our all-school academic assembly in May.

Above and Beyond

The official school citizenship award is presented to students who excel in scholarship, attendance, and are involved in activities, and school- community service.  Each term certificates and T-shirts are awarded to students who are selected for the recognition.  Once a student has been inducted into the Above and Beyond group, good citizenship and school leadership becomes a continual expectation.  Above and Beyond induction is sustained through a student's high school career.

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Academic Honors Program

Students who complete the Academic Honors Program wear special medals at commencement.  Participation requirements include the following:

  • the accumulation of at least 310 credit hours
  • the accumulation of at least 230 credit hours in the areas of Language Arts, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Science, and Foreign Languages
  • a grade point of a least 3.0 in the 230 specified credit hours

We believe that the Academic Honors Program provides an excellent incentive for students to carry demanding academic course loads.   Students meeting criteria for academic honors will in all likelihood, meet state regents requirements for college entrance.

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Members of the National Honor Society are selected by a faculty committee with the advice and consent of the entire faculty.   Specific membership criteria have been established by the National Honor Society and include the following:

  • Scholarship (a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.6)
  • Leadership
  • Service
  • Character

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Students are honored in three categories for their grade points during the twelve-week term:

  • The Honor Roll of Excellence (3.70+)
  • The Green and Gold Honor Roll (3.40-3.69)
  • The Cougar Mark of Merit (3.0-3.39)

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We recognize those students whose GPA for a particular term is at least .35 above their average for the previous term.  We value high grades, but we also want to reward improvement.  Not all students have the ability to earn a high GPA, but nearly everyone can improve. 

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Perfect and Excellent Attendance

Each term we mail a special letter to all students who maintain perfect or excellent attendance for the twelve weeks.

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  • Students graduating with a cumulative grade point average of 4.165 or higher earn the distinction of being class valedictorian. 
  • Those graduating seniors earning a 4.00 to 4.164 are designated as salutatorians. 
  • Students who graduate with a cumulative grade point average of 3.845-3.999 will graduate with distinction. 
  • All cumulative grade point averages are figured after midterm grades are distributed in the spring term of the year. 

The student with the highest cumulative grade point average in the class delivers the valedictory address at commencement.

All recipients of the awards ear special medallions at graduation ceremonies and receive special recognition at our Senior Honors Night in May.

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Other Academic Awards

Kennedy High School also joins with numerous other organizations in recognizing the achievements of members of the senior class:

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation Awards

The McElroy Trust Scholarships

The Livingston Trust Scholarships

The State of Iowa Scholars Program

The Kennedy PTA Scholarships

The American Bar Association Awards

The Cedar Rapids/ Marion Chamber of Commerce Leadership Awards

The Etienne, Ewoldsen, Novak, Schneekloth, Everett, Richardson, Rotary-West Vocational Scholarships.  The Kennedy Spirit, Citizenship, Service, and Attendance awards.

These and other awards are presented annually at Senior Honors Night in May.

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President's Academic Fitness Award

Seniors with cumulative grade point averages of 3.5 and have an 85% on ITED tests are awarded this honor.

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Numerous awards are presented each year by the following:

  • Each of the nineteen interscholastic sports
  • The vocal and instrumental music programs
  • The Thespian Chapter
  • The Marketing Education Program
  • The Newspaper and Yearbook Programs
  • The Students Government Program

What we are about at Kennedy is academics.   We believe all students deserve the very best educational opportunities and the highest academic expectations no matter what their plans after graduation.  More then 85 percent of our graduates enter post-secondary educational programs after high school.   An additional 10 percent enter the military service or go directly into the work force.  Whatever the plans, all Kennedy graduates have the opportunity for a solid educational program  that will propel them toward success in the twenty-first century.  Our goal is to encourage students to keep all doors open for the pursuit of education beyond high school.  We encourage all students to complete the requirements in high school that will insure entrance to college.

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