Cedar Park Challenge Coins Added for Staff Appreciation


Perry Jamail

Challenge Coins arrive at Cedar Park with the Timberwolf logo on the front and back of the coins.

Perry Jamail, Reporter

The administrative team is implementing a new way to reward teachers and staff members for their much-appreciated hard work: Challenge Coins.

In an email informing staff members of this upcoming system to show staff appreciation, Assistant Principal Phillip Pearce, who borrowed the idea from past school districts he has worked for, mentions that the Challenge Coins will be distributed to the staff members via the administrative team. The administrative team, which includes Mr. Sloan, Mrs. Colman, Ms. Back, Mrs. Powell, Mrs. Raby, Mr. Rogers and Mr. Pearce, will be on the lookout for staff members who go above and beyond expectations.  

“It’s just really something that I liked from my previous school that I brought here and that Mr. Sloan has let me use just to get us to strive to be the best that we can be each and every day for the kids that are here,” Pearce said.

As well as handing out a token to show their appreciation to overachieving staff members, the administrative team will also award a second challenge coin to staff members who received the first. This second token is to “pay it forward” to another staff member they would like to recognize. PALs teacher Jared Lippe, one of the recipients of this token of appreciation so far in the year, said it was a hard decision for him to decide who he would gift his extra challenge coin to.

“It was a hard decision because when it comes down to it everyone is working hard, everyone is doing incredible things on this campus,” Lippe said.

Lippe also shares who he finally ended up deciding to give the coin to and how he came to that decision.

“I have a very close working friend and a brother-from-another-mother named coach Randy Ballenger,” Lippe said. “When I’ve seen all that he does for the tennis team, for the freshmen he works with, and for of course our PALs group as well, I really thought that he deserved to get some extra credit and that I wanted to give it to him.”   

The idea of a tangible item of appreciation that staff members can hold onto and see every day has been a key part of why Pearce chose this form of showing staff appreciation.

“With this coin, it’s something that I can put somewhere, that I can see every day,” Pearce said. “I used to carry one in my pocket every day so that when I had my hands in my pockets I would feel that every day and it would be a reminder, ‘what are you doing today to be the best that you can be?’”

Since May of 2017, when the idea was first brought to Sloan’s attention by Pearce, the idea of implementing students into the challenge coin initiative has been thrown around. Pearce explains why these tokens of appreciation are currently only available for staff members.

“Right now it’s only for faculty and staff,” Pearce said. “We’ve talked about doing that with the students, we want to see how it works out this year with our staff, but as we progress, maybe next year it possibly could be something we start to try to do with the students.”