Challenge Coin Recognition Program
Being in the business of education means that our focus at the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) is on people. The magnificent people working every day across the District delivering services to students make belonging to the SUSD workforce a familial experience. Having the opportunity to engage with our students and their families energizes us and provides a bounty of rewarding experiences. Our talented and professional workforce of more than 3,000 people is devoted to consistently delivering an outstanding educational experience for every single SUSD student.
There is no doubt that outstanding achievements are happening each day across SUSD. To publicly recognize these achievements, the Superintendent brings forward the most notable stories each month at the Governing Board Meeting during a portion of the agenda dubbed “Celebrations.” Any Principal may nominate students and employees from their campus to be considered for a Celebration. In addition to being lauded before the Governing Board, Celebration honorees are presented with a signed certificate from the SUSD Superintendent and a very special token of appreciation from the Superintendent: a commemorative Excellence Recognition Coin.
Implemented in 2019, the Challenge Coin provides a special way for the Superintendent to provide a physical representation of appreciation to students and staff for exemplary, above-and-beyond contributions and achievements. The coin is intended to recognize students and staff who are living our core values and going above and beyond expectations – striving for and achieving excellence.
Offering recognition through challenge coins is an America tradition. The first coins can be traced back to World War II where officers presented coins to soldiers to reward remarkable actions. It is said that these coins were used to authenticate the identity of U.S. servicemen from enemy imposters. Since then, coins have evolved to become prestigious tokens of recognition that are collected, carried and displayed with pride. We feel our SUSD recognition coins build morale and serve as a lasting, tangible reminder of recognition while conveying a sense of belonging to our supportive, appreciative and proud community. The coin design is done right here in the SUSD Office of Communications & Marketing.
The idea was brought to SUSD by the District’s Chief Communication & Marketing Officer, Amy Bolton, who has earned an array of challenge coins working for police departments and volunteering for causes that benefit United States military members and Veterans. Ms. Bolton comes from a military family with her first-generation American grandfather serving in the United States Army in World War II in Okinawa, Japan. Now, her son, on active duty for the United States Air Force, represents the fourth generation of in her family in active duty military service. Amy joins forces with the District’s Art Director, Victor Bobbett to develop the design for each year’s coin. Together, Amy and Victor collaborate to bring the spirit of this American military tradition from an idea to an artifact. Victor is a United States Army Veteran who served as a medic in the Southern United States. Victor is married to an SUSD teacher and their son attends an SUSD school. Using his skillful hand and keen eye, Victor handcrafts every detail of the coin, working in the various symbols that give each unique design special meaning to its recipient.