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Nutty solution

How do you get 643 high school students to clean up after meals in the cafeteria?

Administrators at Cleveland (Texas) High School, north of Houston, tried admonishing students over the intercom for leaving napkins and lunch trays strewn about. Then they disconnected vending machines as punishment.

After both of those efforts failed, administrators got really mad and did the unthinkable.

One Friday last month, when students showed up for their favorite meal of hamburgers, they were served peanut butter sandwiches, milk, and an ice cream bar instead.

"There was a huge outcry. Some people called their moms asking for food," Principal Roger Clifton said. "It was amazing to me how many people were allergic to peanut butter."

But the cafeteria was clean the following Monday, when the regular lunch menu was served. And it has been every day since.

Administrators have also allowed students to start playing music during lunch. "We believe in rewards as much as getting their attention."

Big date

The high school prom can be an expensive event--especially when you have seven dates.

Senior Luke Buchheit of McMinnville High School in Oregon spent $500 on eight prom tickets, dinner for eight, a limousine, and his tuxedo. That's quite a bit of cash for someone who originally planned not to go.

The 17-year-old was planning to go skiing instead with some friends. But, he said, "it turned out to be one of the greatest nights of my high school career."

When they heard of his idea, some of Mr. Buchheit's friends wanted to back out of the ski trip. But it was too late for them. Plus, there was no room left in the limo.

It all started when Mr. Buchheit learned his friend Annalisa Bansen didn't have a date, and he asked her to go. He then began wondering how many other young women in the 1,500-student school were planning to go to the prom alone. When Ms. Bansen said she knew of six others, he said he would take them all. "I was joking at first, but then I began to think: 'Why not?'" he said last week. So he called each one to ask her along to the May 2 prom.

The news of the big date spread quickly in the town of 23,000. By the time Mr. Buchheit went to pick up the ladies' corsages, an anonymous donor had already paid for them.

"It was kind of a cool feeling ... but a bit overwhelming," he said.


Vol. 17, Issue 38, Page 3

Published in Print: June 3, 1998, as Take Note

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