SOAR Assemblies: A Tyrone Middle School Tradition

Carlee Fry, Maecy Tuskovich, Drue Christine, Jaida Parker, Ellie Oakes

Four times a year the students and teachers at the Tyrone Middle School get to cut loose and celebrate at one of the best loved middle school traditions: the SOAR assemblies.

SOAR assemblies are fun events that celebrate the hard work of students and teachers at school and in the community.  The assemblies feature student and teacher games and competitions, music, performances and usually a few surprises.

SOAR is an acronym that stands for Strive for Success, Observe Safety, Act with Integrity, Respect all.  It is part of the positive behavior system at the middle school.  The SOAR assemblies are a reward to the student body that emphasize community and positive behavior at the middle school.

Former middle school teacher Beth Cannistraci began the SOAR assemblies in 2005. 

“I just thought that it would be a good idea to have an event to reward the teachers and the students for all of their hard work,” said Cannistraci.

One of Cannistraci’s favorite memories from coordinating the SOAR assemblies was when her daughter Alexis, now a junior at the high school, got to participate in the event with her.

Cannistraci was in charge of the organization until this year when she moved to the high school. Middle school math teacher Erica Burger now organizes the SOAR assemblies.

Activities at the last SOAR assembly consisted of a variety of events including a “pin guard” competition, a horse race, a jelly bean game, and other creative events created by the middle school teachers and students.

Fifth grader Rayann Walls had a great time at the most recent SOAR assembly.

I really like the SOAR assemblies because it gives students the chance to watch their teachers participate in athletic things that you don’t normally see them in”

— 5th grader Rayann Walls

“I really like the SOAR assemblies because it gives students the chance to watch their teachers participate in athletic things that you don’t normally see them in,” said Walls. ‘’Also it’s nice to have a break from class and get rewarded for our hard work’’.

But putting together an entertaining assembly program for a whole school full of students is not an easy task.  Mrs. Burger in fact has faced some challenges while being in charge of these assemblies.

The biggest challenges of taking over the SOAR assemblies are finding enough time to plan them and coordinating all the equipment/supplies needed for each one,” said Burger,  “It takes a lot of effort outside of school time as well as help from many more people than just the assembly committee to pull them off in a successful manner.”

Luckily, Burger has help from her co-chair, middle school guidance counselor Matt Kimberlin.

‘’I help out with the SOAR committee to plan and design the events at the assembly,” said Kimberlin, “Also I am the MC of the event and help students get involved’’.

“We have a dedicated committee to help us with anything,” added Burger.

Many students are thankful for all of the hard work put into these assemblies. While all agree that they like the SOAR assemblies because it gets them out of class, the enthusiasm shown by the middle school students at the assemblies proves its more than just a break from class – it’s a fun celebration of community and hard work.

It takes a lot of effort outside of school time as well as help from many more people than just the assembly committee to pull them off in a successful manner”

— Erica Burger