The Big Dawg Awards


Marissa Mignott, Contributor

Ms. Shapiro is the teacher that students come to for comfort. She feels that the relationships formed with students is the greatest reward. But even so, she was surprised when they announced her name as the recipient of the Big Dawg award for “caring”.

 “I was shocked by winning the award because I didn’t expect it,” said Shapiro. 

She says it feels good that her colleagues recognize how much she cares for students. The best reward for her is seeing her students succeed and prosper in their life.

The Big Dawg  Awards are a monthly award system created by the administration as a way to recognize team members and students. The awards started in October of 2020, right in the heat of the pandemic and is going to stay in South Broward. Each month there is a characteristic that a student and a staff member can win by exemplifying that specific trait. So far 6 awards have been given out, for categories like dedication, loving and empowerment  

At the head of it all is SBHS assistant principal, Mr. Darryl Baker. He covers all the staff recognition related events, so he is the one the winners see when they are announced their award.

“Ms. Brown had an idea on how to recognize staff, and I thought of the Big Dawg Awards. I think the awards brought more moral to school; all the characteristics have been flooding throughout since the awards were created,” said Baker.

The winners receive a bulldog plush along with a certificate stating why they won the award – and a hug from a masked Mr. Baker, of course. He either joins the team meeting  or he goes into the physical classroom they are in to congratulate them. For students off campus that can’t come to school to pick the award up, he drives to them.

“I’ve only gone to one students’ house to congratulate them, but seeing their reaction felt great. Many of the students were surprised to see me” said Baker.

Even students are recognized for their actions. February was the month for loving, and SBHS junior Ellyana Nicole joined the list of winners for the award of “Love”.

 “ I didn’t even know it existed, but I was happy,” said Nicole. She believes she was nominated because she is very bubbly and gets along well with everyone.

 Since she won the award, she is now encouraged to spread love because people recognized it in her.

Mr. Saunders and Jaquan Doster won “perseverance” for October, Mr. Hay and Laura Moreno won “dedication” for November, Ms. Ostheim and Isabel Gleeson won “giving” for December, Ms. Shapiro and Gerald Torres Rodriguez won “caring” for January, Ms. Chaplin and Ellyana Soares won “love” for February and, Mr. Joseph and Jacob Laroque won “empowerment” for March. The winners for April are going to be announced soon, along with the new word for May. Thankfully, these awards are going to keep recognizing greatness at South Broward, for years to come.