On January 29, 2014, Haines revealed their motto: Empower, Persevere, Excel. These are meaningful words, but what do they really mean? And how were these words chosen to represent the ideals and goals of our school for our students?
We empower ourselves and others when we believe that we are capable of achieving great things together. When we celebrate our differences and recognize the importance of speaking encouragement to everyone instead of cruel words that can tear someone down, we begin to see how empowered we really are.
Once we believe that we can achieve, we have to know that it's going to require hard work to reach our academic, physical and social goals. It isn't enough to believe, we have to persevere in order to see our dreams become reality. Teaching our students that hard work and dedication are the keys to success ensures that they understand what is required of them to truly get the most out of their education here at Haines. To persevere means that even when it's tough, we keep going, we keep believing we can do it and empower each other to reach for the stars.
We all want our children to excel. Not just in academics and sports, but as happy and thriving young people who have hopes and dreams and have the tools to achieve them in an environment that fosters their creativity. By modeling the empowerment of others and perseverance, we model excellence.
Excellence comes from within, it is a product of character. It cannot be faked and it cannot be rushed, and it is the only path that will truly bring our students joy in every facet of their lives. What could be more important?
These words were chosen by the collaboration of our administrators and teachers as they thought deeply about what it means to truly teach our children. These words aren't trite placeholders, but a true expression of what our teachers believe to be vital to the foundation of their education. The words were then shared with the students and much time was spent helping them analyze and integrate what they meant, to them.
My sixth grade daughter came home and told me that she had an emotional lesson about these words and that it made her feel her teachers cared so much for her. I'm sure I have no need to explain how my heart swelled with pride and gratitude that my daughter attends Haines Middle School. We are so lucky to have this group of teachers and administration charting the course at Haines, and I for one, am so proud to be a part of assisting them in that endeavor.
Shala Dendler - Haines PTO Prez