The teams entered the gymnasium like celebrity athletes.

They walked in line to the beat of a marching band playing in the background. Cheerleaders performed choreographed routines on the sidelines. Fans applauded as they passed.

So began St. Simons Elementary’s energetic PBIS — or Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports — kick-off spirit rally Friday.

“Our theme this year is ‘T.E.A.M.’ — ‘Together Everyone Achieves More,’” said Kim Richardson, the physical education teacher at St. Simons Elementary and an organizer of the event. “And every grade level is a sport, so they’re baseball, basketball, football and soccer teams. And within that sport, they pick a team.”

Each class filtered into the gymnasium on the morning of the rally, carrying a banner for their team.

The banners included signs for the Atlanta Hawks, the Chicago Bulls and the New York Giants. Many students wore specially made hats and shirts for the occasion.

Glynn Middle School marching band members and cheerleaders performed as the students walked through before taking their seats on the gym floor.

Inside, Frederica Academy football players and College of Coastal Georgia basketball players greeted them with high fives and cheers.

“I just thought it would be really cool to show the kids some athletes that are doing the right thing, getting to play the sports at the college level, high school level and middle school level,” Richardson said.

The PBIS program, used throughout Glynn County Schools, awards students’ good behavior. Each school incorporates its own theme, and Richardson said St. Simons Elementary’s sports theme this year aims to cater to the masses and promote teamwork.

“We do competitions between the grade levels, and they earn points by doing the right thing,” she said.

Teams will have a chance to be named school champion several times throughout the year.

“I’ve always been a big push for PBIS, since I came to the county,” Richardson said. “I just think positively rewarding kids works.”

During the spirit rally, the high school and college athletes addressed the students, encouraging them to work hard in school, be kind to others and generally do the right thing.

Richardson said she hopes the St. Simons Elementary students will see the older athletes as role models.

“That’s the hope, just to push them a little bit to do the right thing,” she said.

Spotlight on Schools appears Thursdays. Contact Lauren McDonald at or at 912-265-8320, ext. 322 to suggest a topic for a column.

Spotlight on Schools appears Thursdays. Contact Lauren McDonald at or at 265-8320, ext. 322 to suggest a topic for a column.