“And I further pledge myself to Benton High School, whose ideas and traditions are worthy of all.” We say it several times each week when we say the Pledge of Allegiance, but there are those times when we speak those words that it brings home how our goal for achieving excellence for our school and our students is really about honoring a more than 100 year tradition of our school. I have quipped on more than one occasion that I am not in our business to be mediocre. I feel we are all here to do what’s best. What’s best for kids is something we say time and time again. The old motto of our school used to be, “If it’s good for Benton, just do it.” Here’s what our pledge opened my eyes to last Friday as we sat together honoring the excellent and honorary efforts of our seniors and senior most influential teachers – that it takes hard work to achieve excellence.
I know we worked hard this year to achieve excellence. It means working and reworking our approach – and go from good to great. We had to stay the course. We could not cut corners. We had to focus. And we did it. As we sit in the last days of school on the other side of the 2011-2012 chapter in our journey to excellence, I realize that our road is yet again under construction. Years ago when I was a head coach, I always made it part of our tactical plan to evaluate what we did well and keep that as well as to take something that was stellar from our opposing team (consider this research) and incorporate that into our game plan. It took time, and even with a year-to-year change in personnel (graduating seniors), we always got better. I see that game plan for Benton as well. As we close out this school year, it’s time for reflection on our tactical plan. It’s time to look at what the other schools do that is so successful and see how that might help us achieve excellence. It’s time for each teacher to bring that to an individual level so as to grow professionally.
This has been an exciting and rewarding year. I wish you each a restful summer and look forward enthusiastically for what the next year will bring. Ancora Imparo.
~Excellence is a journey, not a destination.~
Images are available through CC on Flickr: “way ahead” by roujo. “Benton Crest” from BHS.