MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Varsity Brands, the recognized leader in team athletic gear, the driving force in cheerleading and dance, and the most trusted name in celebrating student milestones, hosted its inaugural Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards in Orlando, Florida on April 30 to recognize standout educators, teaches, coaches and students.
The Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards recognized schools, school groups and individuals who go the extra mile to build school pride, student engagement and community spirit. Winners were honored with a total of $25,000 in awards from Varsity Brands.
"We understand the importance of school spirit, involvement, achievement and self-confidence for young people to succeed in school and beyond," said Jeff Webb, Founder and Chairman of Varsity Brands. "And we're proud to celebrate all the leaders in schools around the country who go above and beyond to inspire excellence in their students and peers."
The Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards consisted of sixteen separate awards in three distinct categories; sport, spirit, and achievement (click HERE to learn more about the categories). Nominees had to be nominated by a student, colleague or community member, and all submissions included a 500-word essay outlining why the nominee is deserving of this award, one letter of recommendation, photos and other supporting materials demonstrating the nominee's work.
John Spolski, Principal of Fort Walton Beach High School in Fort Walton Beach, FL took home the ceremony's most prestigious award, the Principal of Principle. "I'm so proud to represent all of the nominees for this award. I hope all schools can celebrate successes like we have, and I hope all principals can make the connection between spirit and achievement," said Spolski. "I want to give a shout out to my Vikings and everyone who makes our spirit go on and on throughout the community. Every student at Fort Walton Beach High School is known and valued."
Other honors included Best School Tradition Award, the Legacy Coaching Award, the Spirit of Inclusion, and the Top-Notch Teacher Award. Watch the Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards Show on varsitybrands.com, and see the complete list of winners.
Varsity Brands was inspired to introduce the Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards after receiving an onslaught of exceptional entries for its America's Most Spirited High School Contest in the fall of 2015. This search went beyond spirit teams and sporting events and included the important roles that academics, community involvement and overall engagement play in driving school spirit. Last year's entries demonstrated such inspiring environments of inclusion and achievement that Varsity Brands was inspired to create a program to recognize even more of the individuals, teams and schools that are championing these efforts.
Varsity Brands has conducted extensive research which illustrates a direct correlation between school spirit, community and school involvement, academic achievement and self-confidence. According to a Harris Poll and subsequent white paper published in 2014, 92 percent of principals agree that high school spirit is tied to high academic achievement, and 90 percent of students with high levels of school spirit are more likely to be leaders. This search for individuals who exemplify school spirit goes beyond cheerleaders and sporting events and includes the important roles academics, community involvement and overall engagement play in driving school spirit.
About Varsity Brands
With a mission to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for young people, Varsity Brands elevates the student experience, promotes participation and celebrates achievement through three unique but interrelated businesses: Herff Jones, A Varsity Achievement Brand; BSN SPORTS, a Varsity Sport Brand; and Varsity Spirit. Together, these assets promote personal, school and community pride through their customizable products and programs to elementary and middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities, as well as church organizations, professional and collegiate sports teams and corporations. Through its 4,200 dedicated employees and independent representatives, Varsity Brands reaches its individual and institutional customers each year via catalog, telesales, e-commerce sites and direct sales channels.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/varsity-brands-honors-schools-school-organizations-and-individuals-promoting-outstanding-student-engagement-and-community-spirit-with-school-spirit-awards-300273976.html
SOURCE Varsity Brands