New Day, New Year, New Beginnings
Whether a song, a buzzer or the natural alarm of our body, we are awakened each day for a new start. As difficult as it may be to roll out of bed on some mornings, knowing that you are going to be around positive people and great kids puts a little extra pep in your step. Students and staff alike seem to have an extra bounce in their step as we work together for a positive 2018-19 school year. I am excited to begin my second year at Solomon High and settle in to our school and community routines and traditions. When the first bell rang on August 22nd, we spoke about three keys for a successful year; taking risks, taking responsibility and being positive.
Each night when we set our alarm before we go to bed, we are closing the book on our day. The new day gives us an opportunity to try again or possible try something new. My plea to our students this year is to get involved. Not only do we have some amazing sports and activities that have been wildly successful in the past, but new energy leading them today. Also, we are creating new clubs and intramurals for our students to try. For those students that still haven’t found their niche, we ask that they find their voice. We need more students to stand up and support their peers at games, in the hallways and in the classrooms. Speaking of classrooms, we have added several new courses for our students to increase our rigor and allow them to try new things. This year alone, we are offering 26 hours of college credit to our students. For our students who are not college bound, we have expanded our pathways for students to try new courses and find their passion. This year alone, we are sending eight students to Salina Area Technical School who will receive certification in their field. High school is about trying new classes, new career paths, new activities to find your passion. Once they graduate, all those choices and changes will be costly.
As much as we all feel like we want to hit the snooze button some mornings, we wake up and get ready for our day. We do this because throughout of lives, our own parents and teachers have instilled responsibility in us. That is what we are asking of our students. It is easy to find blame in every situation, but it also is usually easy to find fault within ourselves. Students are being asked to take responsibility for their futures by scheduling college or career internship visits. This year, students are allowed to have five days between their junior and senior year to job shadow or to visit a college campus they have not seen. Another major benefit this year is our state is paying for every junior student to take the ACT test this year as well as all seniors who did not take it. Knowing not every student is college bound, all of those student will then take the WorkKeys test for free. This is a test that many employers use to place their employees in their fields. I have asked our faculty to push our students, to increase the rigor of what we expect of our kids. I know our students can handle the challenge and believe they will be stronger because of it. There will be struggles along the way, but I ask both faculty and students to look at themselves first, find their own responsibility in the situation before we are too quick to our conclusions.
Finally, once that alarm has rung and we are dressed for the day, the last thing we have to put on is a positive attitude. Walking in our hallways has a new feel this year. The positive vibes from our new staff and current students is infectious. Our new S.S.A.G. (Students Setting Academic Goals) time has been a success and is allowing our staff to create strong relationships and mentor seven or eight students. Watching our volleyball teams succeed this year solidifies the power of positive attitudes. It is easy from time to time when we are losing or life is not going our way to be negative and lash out, but being negative doesn’t solve many issues. A positive comment or even just a smile from a parent, a peer, a community member or a teacher may be the most positive thing some of us feel in a day. Don’t underestimate the power of a positive attitude can have. They are infectious and can change all of our spirits each day.
We all have bad days and days we would have rather of stayed in bed. We don’t lay around and mope, instead we take the risk to try a new day. We take responsibility and go to work and school to make a better life for ourselves and our families. Having a positive attitude with us makes the risks and the responsibilities along the way much more safe and secure. I hope to see you around or at some of our many events at Solomon High. Here’s to 186 alarm clocks in 2018-19 and a smile each morning!