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“Beep Beep Bucks” reward positive behavior at Austin-East

Austin-East Magnet High School staff rewarded students who went above expectations.
Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 8:02 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - High school was filled with ups and downs. Making choices can become more challenging for young adults. Austin-East Magnet High School staff rewarded students who went above expectations.

Overwhelmed and grateful were two words Quana Fields told me as she opened more boxes filled with snacks.

“We’re really just trying to foster positive school culture, whatever that looks like, that transaction between staff and student is really the major initiative in this entire piece,” said Fields, a behavior interventionist at Austin-East.

The school store called “The Nest” was her idea.

Fields said, “Creating a culture where our staff and adults are saying hey I see you.”

Any faculty member can reward students with Roadrunner Beep Beep bucks to grab a snack at the store when they go above and beyond to help a classmate, staff member or even themselves.

“It makes me feel like I achieved something on my own,” said Thomas McMullen, a sophomore.

McMullen enjoyed helping others.

“It is a strength in connection because that teacher isn’t just looking at their grades, looking at what the student’s doing at that time,” explained McMullen, “It’s showing you that even your other teachers out here are watching you.”

Head Secretary Kayla Williams loved to give out Beep Beep bucks.

“I feel great inside. I’m an alumni here myself. So any time my student comes in and wants to help me out or just have a great, positive attitude to want to do anything for me without me even asking them it makes me feel like I’m doing my job,” said Williams.

She said she usually gave out a few daily.

Williams said, “And I enjoy every bit of making the students feel like they’re at home, because this is their second home.”

Donations flooded Fields’ office, which meant she was running out of room for snacks. Usually the ticket booth is where students pick up their snack after school, but because of COVID-19 she’s been using her office.

“It’s not just the people in school see us growing and achieving things. It’s everyone around us. Even people that have never seen us before they just feel our achievements,” said McMullen.

McMullen planned to continue to give back to others and inspire them to do the same.

“I think this program is going to eventually get to where everyone’s just achieving something,” said McMullen.

Fields had asked for the community to donate single-serving pre-packaged food items to the school by Tuesday March 9. But they already have so many they are now set for the year.

If anyone wants to donate they can drop off monetary gifts at the school’s front office by asking for Ms. Q. This will go to getting snacks for the 2021-2022 school year.

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