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Checking in with DPM'S Thomas Herion

DPM Principal Tom Herion

DPM Principal Thomas Herion gives a thumbs-up to Associate Principals Sam Paulsen and Megan Eigenrauch as they serve up slices to a Month of Gratitude winning homeroom.

With the school year at the halfway point, Insight checked in at each District 67 school, asking principals to share highlights and describe National Gratitude Month celebrations. Here’s what we heard from Principal Thomas Herion.

How did you recognize National Gratitude Month at DPM? And for what, at DPM, are you most grateful?

In alignment with National Gratitude Month and the Thanksgiving holiday, DPM hosted a schoolwide Month of Gratitude in November. Each week, we focused on a DPM Core Value and celebrated students who were meeting behavior expectations and all positive interactions between students and staff. We coordinated with grade-level homerooms on a positive behavior competition. Students caught in the act of doing something great were given a “turkey feather” as a positive behavior incentive. Those feathers were added to a homeroom’s “turkey” and each week the total of those feathers was added up and shared with the whole building. The homeroom with the most feathers at each grade level won a pizza lunch. We also had Suzy’s Swirl frozen yogurt as a schoolwide Month of Gratitude reward thanks to the DPM APT, the Spirit of 67, (and the DPM Admin Team). It was great to see that by the middle of the month we already had more than 2,000 positive interactions between staff and students!

I, meanwhile, am grateful for the DPM staff! DPM staff members are continuing to provide amazing learning activities and opportunities for our students and I am grateful for such a dedicated, caring, and thoughtful colleagues.

As the first half of the school year heads toward a close, are there any standout events or actions you’d like to highlight?

There are so many events worthy of celebration, from welcoming back after-school activities to having in-person athletic events and competitions. We have our future-ready science labs and our libraries in full use, and our creative arts, wellness classes, and world languages are now all in-person. Simply stated, we are just thrilled to have our students All In, Every Day!

What are you most looking forward to in 2022?

I am looking forward to a year of continued learning and growth for our students. This fall, our students and staff have done a wonderful job of establishing routines and re-acclimating to life here in our building. We have traction. It will be exciting to see how that manifests itself in the second half of the year. We have so many opportunities for our students to connect to our greater DPM community. From intramurals to clubs, activities and athletics — there is something for everyone to join and to do at DPM. I am looking forward to helping our students continue to make the most of their academic and extracurricular opportunities in the New Year while demonstrating empathy, respect, and kindness toward our DPM community. We are off to a great start!