Irv Philpot, a local attorney with the Philpot Law Firm, participated in Round 1 of "The Amazing Shake - Professionalism with a Personal Touch" at Sara Collins Elementary School. The Amazing Shake is a competition that gives 5th grade elementary school students the opportunity to demonstrate manners, self-discipline, respect, and professional conduct.
“It was an amazing experience,” shared Philpot. “I had the privilege to work with seventy-five 5th graders. We focused on life skills, including the importance of a firm handshake, eye contact, engagement, manners, poise and presentation.”
The Amazing Shake event was modeled after the original program created and introduced at The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. Throughout the school year, students are instructed on and practice a proper handshake, table manners, conversational and interview skills, and how to remain composed under pressure.
“We were so impressed with the professional and conversational skills of students at Ron Clark Academy, said Holli Hamner, Instructional Coach and IB Coordinator at Sara Collins. “We decided to give our students a similar opportunity.”
Students competed in four “rounds”, each structured to teach the following life skills.
◦ Round 1 “MEET & GREET”: All 5th graders met and greeted professionals from the Greenville community. Students spent about 1 minute with each person. The professionals scored each student on his/her handshake and interaction.
◦ Round 2 "THINK ON YOUR FEET". The Top 20 students complete 8 surprise scenarios, each about 3 minutes long. Students are scored on their interaction and how well they respond to the scenario.
◦ Round 3 "HIT THE STREET AND EAT". The Top 10 students went on an all-day field trip downtown Greenville. They meet business and governmental leaders, eat at a restaurant, and interview senior citizens.
◦ Round 4 "THE FINAL FEAT". Two Finalists, with help from the other eight members of the Top 10, complete a leadership challenge at school.
“Rounds 2, 3, and 4 of the competition became more selective and more challenging,” said Ms. Hamner. “At each round of the competition the students were fabulous and the scores were very close!”