By Alexis Sheets and Cecilia Cardenas

Wandering the halls of Umatilla High School, a big board filled with blue and orange tickets lays open for the naked eye to see. Students of all grade levels name’s are signed onto those cards given to them from staff members.

These are excellence tickets, planted onto the excellence board for good deeds, hard work, good attendance and a plethora of other reasons. UHS Dean of Students Mrs. April Dirksen explained that the excellence board and tickets were created to reward students who are working hard and making good choices.  It’s a way to thank kids for their efforts and going above and beyond what is expected.


Every little ticket on that board is signed with different tasks that the student did for a certain person, whether it was for a teacher, or another staff member.

Mrs. Dirksen said students can earn the tickets in several ways: helping a staff member, doing well on tests or assignments, helping other students, cleaning up around the school, being kind and respectful to others.


“I usually give excellence tickets to people who do really good work during class in a timely manner.’’ stated Mr. Keith Gebers. “ I give out excellence tickets about once a quarter, so the student gets positive feedback.’’

Anyone who passes the board can see that it’s already filled to the brim with tickets.

“Once it is filled we are going to create another board. We have a lot of great kids doing a lot of great things!” said Mrs.Dirksen.

The excellence board hasn’t been around forever, actually it’s a rather new thing for the school.  In a statement by Mrs.Dirksen, she said that the excellence tickets and the board have been around for the past four years.

Some students have gotten more than one excellence ticket like sophomore Ms. Loreli Ortiz, who has two tickets, “One because I was on task and the other because of my perfect attendance,” said Ms.Ortiz.

The tickets aren’t always for being studious. “I got it for not being able to donate blood,” said Junior Ms. Gwen Wynn.


It is obvious the excellence board and tickets will be sticking around for more years to come. Hopefully more and more student’s names will be planted on more than one excellence board, so that the whole school can see all around the excellent jobs of UHS students.

Mrs. Dirksen said “Work hard and do the right thing. We are always rewarding students!”