Favorite Staff Member

(can be adapted for any grade)

Tiffin City Schools, Tiffin, OH/Kennedy

Suzanne Reinhart, School Counselor

Kennedy’s Favorite Staff Members Contest
Goal Setting, Doing things for others, Working Together

Magic walks among a number of teachers while students look on.


Students will learn about Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence or other similar organizations.

Students will demonstrate dependability, productivity, and teamwork through participation.

Students will learn the importance of working to help raise funds to help organizations such as ADAI.


One container for each participant.

Photo of each participant.

Table to hold containers.

Fifty feet lead so dog can run but be controlled.

Camera to take photos of winning staff members.


Decide on a building goal for amount of money raised. Secure staff involvement, including everyone, if possible. Visit classrooms to encourage students to form teams to get their favorite person to win. Ask questions such as “What things should we do and NOT do in running this campaign?” (Discourage name calling, mud slinging, or bribery.)

Decide when the polls will open and close; whether it be one day or one week, everyone needs to know the details about voting. Place containers with the staff member’s name and picture on a table when the polls open. Anyone can cast votes by putting money into containers. One cent equals one vote. The staff member who has collected the most money in their jar when the polls close will be declared the “People’s Choice Award” winner and will be announced on the day Kennedy chooses his favorite staff member.

Decide on the date for Kennedy to choose his favorite staff member, usually during the final week of school. Assemble all students in a big circle around the playground. Announce the top 5-10 teachers for the People’s Choice Award, bringing up the final three. The winner is announced, along with the amount of money raised for ADAI. Next all the staff members make a smaller circle inside the student circle. Kennedy is in the center of the circle attached to the main handler on a fifty foot lead, preventing the dog from taking off after a  squirrel or other distraction. Students are encouraged to chant and cheer for their favorite staff member.

Staff members can be allowed to bring treats or toys to entice Kennedy, or there can be a rule that no one can bring anything to bribe Kennedy. When the crowd is sufficiently involved and the dog is ready, Kennedy is released to run to his favorite staff member. The winner is declared as the first person Kennedy runs to. This fun activity brings much unity and excitement for the entire school, as well as a generous donation to ADAI to support the training of additional School Therapy Dogs. Photos of the People’s Choice Award and Kennedy’s Favorite Teacher are taken and displayed in the school. Send money to ADAI in appreciation for having a wonderful School Therapy Dog in Tiffin!


Do a short survey with students verbally and have them raise their hands to answer. “What things did you learn through this activity?” (Possible answers might include how to raise money for an organization, how to campaign for favorites, etc.) “What sorts of things were easy to accomplish?” (Answers will vary.)

“What things would you change about this activity?” (Answers will vary.) Keep records from year to year as to how much money was raised.

For a Printable PDF of this Lesson Plan, download this file: AP-LessonPlan-FavoriteStaff

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