Academic Recognition Ideas:
Every quarter, or ten weeks, recognize students who received a 3.0 GPA or higher, or students who have had perfect attendance. There are a variety of ways to reward these students. Rewards can include: key chains, lanyards, bracelets, t-shirts, ice cream social, pizza feed, etc.
Athletic Recognition Ideas:
Each Monday, send your athletic director to speak with the in-season varsity coaches. Ask the coaches to nominate an athlete of the week from their respective sport. Be sure to get a brief description of why the athlete was nominated. Announce the Athletes of the Week in your daily bulletin. As an added bonus, you can give your Athletes of the Week certificates and a prizes. Keep track of your Athletes of the Week because at the end of the year you can enter all of their names into a giant raffle for a cool prize.
There are a lot of students who are doing some pretty amazing things at your school. Many of these things are so great that they make the local newspaper. Create a bulletin board at your school for all of the newspaper clippings that mention students at your school.