This week I have been thinking about things that new assistant principal Mike Milanovich has recently said to me. On the first day of school, someone asked him how it went. His response? “Great.” That person then told him, “Don’t worry, it will get better.” He said that he looked at them in disbelief and said that he can’t imagine that it will, because he feels lucky to be here.
At the football game Friday night, standing in front of the beach wear clad student section, watching our drum line kill their sideline solos in the third quarter; I could tell that he was taking it all in. He looked at me and said, “This is great. This school spirit, this whole thing; I love it. This is a great place.”
Mr. Milanovich is right. Hopewell High School is a great place. The teachers are willing to work with the students, the administration is willing to work with teachers and everybody genuinely cares about one another. But does everyone care about the school? Is there Pride?
You may recall that in my first blog this year, I shared my words for the year: purpose, passion and pride. I have told the staff and students that if we remember these words and apply them to our everyday lives, that we will have an AWESOME year, which is my goal.
I sometimes wonder whether or not our students have Pride for their school. In our class meetings, I told the seniors that they would set the tone for the year. I hope that they put Pride at the forefront of what they do this year. I hope that they realize that the culture in the high school is no accident. We have great teachers, a great support staff and great students. We have a rigorous program of studies. We offer broad and diverse opportunities for our students to become well rounded young adults through our extracurricular activities. We make the safety and well-being of all of our students a top priority. We offer safety nets for those students who struggle. We have various partnerships that offer the students an opportunity to take college courses in high school. We have a Cyber Academy that offer students full and hybrid cyber learning opportunities that go beyond the traditional curriculum. We are pushing to add new and exciting technology.
And we try to make learning fun.
I could go on and on singing the praises of our school, but my point comes back to my question. We have a great (not perfect) school, but do our students know that? Do they have Pride? I know that for young adults it is sometimes not cool to like your school, or to verbalize that sentiment. But like Mr. Milanovich, I feel like this place is great and that I am lucky to be here. I hope that our students feel that way as well. They may not realize it until they graduate and talk to people and find out how other schools are and truly understand that the grass isn’t always greener. I hope that they realize that Hopewell High School has a proud past, a strong present and a bright future and that they are part of that.
I hope that they feel a wellspring of Viking Pride. I feel it and I know that after a short time here, Mr. Milanovich does too.