New Orleans Principal Uses Cash, Varsity-Style Jackets to Reward Academic Achievement

Principal Harold Clay of New Orleans has a message for his students: Work hard in the classroom and you will be rewarded.

Of course, this is a common mantra among all teachers and principals, but Clay is not talking about the longterm rewards of a good education. No, he is literally handing out cash and other rewards for students at Edna Karr High School who achieve highly in their schoolwork.

Believing that academic performance is often overshadowed by the cool sheen of athletic achievement and social standing, Clay hopes to change his students’ perspective on what success should be.

As reported by WWLTV News:

Friday, was no exception. Clay handed out $100 bills to 33 students who had GPAs of 4.0 or higher.

“When kids are focused on iPhones and Jordans, I’m saying to focus on your education and I’m going to compensate you for it.”

The message seems to have gotten across to many of those who were honored Friday.

“If you work hard in the class room someone is going to take notice, someone’s going to take heed of what you’re doing” said Karr senior Korey Finnie.

The highest achievers weren’t the only winners of the day. Nearly 400 Karr students were honored for having GPA of at least 3.5. Some were even given sports style varsity jackets and patches.
“Last year I didn’t get one and I was pretty mad about It and this year I worked really hard to get it because I really wanted one” said Karr student Eyrie Toliver.

Principal Clay says he wants academics to be honored the same way as if you achieve on the basketball court so for a big time basketball player they have a signing day.
Friday was like assigning day for academic excellence.

“It’s just priceless to see that you are important too” said student Kineta Ruffin.

And just like sports his students say it creates competition in the class room.

Student Kamri Butler explained “you’re seeing everybody else getting the patches and the checks and you want to get it too so you’re going to work even harder than they do to get the patches and the jacket.”

Head over to WWLTV News for the full story.