Greysin Hill, an eight-year-old Jackson-Roosevelt Elementary School student, adopted the spirit of giving for his classmates this Thanksgiving season. The third-grader saved 75 tickets from J-R’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support program (PBIS) to surprise his fellow classmates with a pizza party instead of using them for himself.

“I earned my tickets by reading books, correctly answering questions during class, turning in graded work, and for the amount of AR points I’ve earned,” said Greysin. “I wanted to use them on something that we could all enjoy.”

For the last seven years, J-R has utilized PBIS as a school-wide approach to promote positive behavior among students, which helps make schools safer. Greysin’s parents, Roger and Bernice Hill, said they are proud of their son.

“We knew he was weighing his options. He was deciding between taking our dog for the class to play with or the pizza party,” his parents said. “We didn’t know he had actually made a decision until his teacher, Mrs. Mang, let us know.”

The Hills said their son has always had a very kind heart.

“He is always willing to help and give to others. He loves to volunteer in our community, through events such as Stuff the Bus as well as the Red Santa toy drive, hosted by the Port Lavaca Fire Department,” they said. “We have taught him to kind, loving and caring, but he has taken those traits and made them his own. I’ve always called him my gentle giant, and the words couldn’t be more accurate, from sharing his lunch snack when someone doesn’t have one to helping his friends with their homework. He also helps his dad coach his baseball classes and truly cares for the kids they coach. The excitement he gets from seeing others succeed is so heartwarming. He is always thinking about others and how he can help. He is the sweetest, kindest, most humble person we know, and we are privileged to call him our son.”

J-R Principal Sherry Phillips said Greysin is a leader in his grade level.

“He is very smart and such a selfless young man. We are so proud to have this Eagle in our family,” said Phillips.

Greysin’s homeroom teacher, Joelle Mang, said he exhibits good character. He works hard and makes good grades.

“Since the PBIS approach started, Mrs. (Truly) Batts and I never had a student save up 75 tickets for a pizza party for the entire class. Most students save up their tickets for the incentive they want,” said Mang. “Greysin came up to me and asked if he could use all 75 of his tickets for a pizza party for the class. Mrs. Batts and I were so taken aback with his kindness that we both had tears in our eyes. He is the first student in third grade that wanted to do this.”

Through PBIS, students can earn soar tickets for good behavior, good grades, and anything demonstrating good character. Those tickets can then be saved for a variety of incentives, and it often takes students some time to collect a large amount. J-R has a long list of incentives ranging from five to 75 tickets, and the rewards are posted throughout the school and in classrooms. Some students chose to turn in 10 tickets for brownies made by the principal while others will turn in 50 tickets to be principal of the day, a popular incentive among earners. For 25 tickets, a student can have extra P.E. with two friends. Another incentive, which costs 15 tickets, includes students being able to go to the office and make slime.

At school, Greysin’s favorite subject is science. He also enjoys playing baseball and spending time with his family, which includes two sisters, one brother, a Goldendoodle named Hunter and a shark named Bruce. When he grows up, Greysin wants to be a Major League Baseball player and a marine biologist.