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GJW Principal Nikole Davis Surprised with Tickets to Super Bowl 2024

GJW Principal Nikole Davis Surprised with Tickets to Super Bowl 2024

December 19, 2023 | There is no typical school day at General Johnnie Wilson Middle School.
With energetic and feisty Principal Nikole Davis at the helm, an ordinary Tuesday can be extraordinary in a way that not even Ms. Davis can predict. 

Who can predict winning tickets to Super Bowl 2024, hosted this year at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada?
"I tell my students that you have to come to school every day because you never know what will happen at the General," Ms. Davis said just moments before she received the surprise of a lifetime while basking in what she thought was a celebration of her students and staff.
Ms. Davis, a beacon of energy and dedication, was in her element, microphone in hand, and personality on display this Tuesday—just days before the Lorain Schools' winter break. She was eager to put her students in the spotlight when the Cleveland Browns and Amazon staged a school takeover to celebrate school attendance.
Lorain Schools is part of the Cleveland Browns Foundation's Stay in the Game! Network, joining this year to work with the sports team to increase student attendance. Amazon contributed $25,000 to the Cleveland Browns Foundation for its Stay in the Game! Attendance Network as part of its TNF for GOOD Initiative.
How Ms. Davis earned the coveted golden tickets started earlier in December when the Stay in the Game! Network called for special persons to be nominated for their efforts in making school worth attending. Ms. Davis rose to the top for her mix of tough love, support, and no-nonsense when it comes to expectations for The General Johnnie Wilson Middle School—with emphasis added to denote how Ms. Davis likes her school referred.
"We are the only school in our district named after a still-living legend, so we owe it to General Wilson to represent," Ms. Davis said, paying homage to the retired United States Army four-star general raised in Lorain.

One of her students' words sealed the deal, pulling the curtain back to reveal the subtle ways Ms. Davis makes students feel seen, loved, and like they belong in her building.

In the words of the student -- 
"She makes our experience fun while we are learning. She makes those of us who do not have a good home life forget what it is like at home once we come in the school. I've personally have self-esteem issues and she helped me so much. Some of us don't have decent clothes and get talked about, she shuts all that down and makes my learning experience better. She tells us it's ok to be different and she doesn't have favorites. She recognizes those who deserve it."

Man in football jersey plays gam with boy in baseball hatOn Tuesday, the school's gymnasium was magically transformed into a vibrant sea of orange and brown, the colors of the Cleveland Browns, with banners, balloons, and spirited decorations. The unmistakable buzz of anticipation filled the air as the students gathered for a party like no other.
As the day unfolded, Amazon and the Cleveland Browns—with special guests Browns Linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. and Wide receiver James Proche II—unveiled a day filled with surprises, games, and interactive activities. Six students—Kairi Gonzalez-Worthy, Emiliano Pozos, Na'Mya Johnson, Nathan Ruiz, Ian Matos, and Jordan Finley—went head-to-head in Minute to Win It-style games, winning Beats By Dre headphones and other prizes. The entire school went home with gifts courtesy of Amazon. Staff members Eric Ruble, Wakisha Ross-Smith, and Dana Jaramillo won tickets to the December 28 Thursday Night Game with the Browns facing the New York Jets.
Students reveled in the joy of being recognized for their dedication to attending school, and the atmosphere was nothing short of electric.
Little did Ms. Davis know that the day's climax was yet to come.
When she thought the surprises were over, Walker stepped forward, holding an oversized gift wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper. Ms. Davis joked that she hoped the mystery item was a check to fund an early retirement. 
"The students said you really make this place feel like home, and you make them feel safe. We want to applaud you for all your hard work, so the Browns wanted to surprise you," Walker said.
It wasn't until Ms. Davis opened the paper that she learned she was heading to the pinnacle of football excitement.
The gymnasium erupted into a cacophony of cheers, laughter, and happy tears from Ms. Davis.
Superintendent Dr. Jeff Graham, who watched from the sidelines, said the best part of the day was knowing Ms. Davis planned and executed an event with such enthusiasm because she genuinely wanted to celebrate her students and staff, never once questioning why the light was not shone on her.
Ultimately, Ms. Davis and her school's commitment to attendance turned an ordinary day into an extraordinary celebration, proving that the most remarkable adventures sometimes begin with a commitment to showing up, ready to embrace the unexpected.

Posted Tuesday, December 19, 2023