Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Teaching in an atmosphere of excellence:

As I attended the Highland Park ISD School Board meeting tonight in Amarillo, Texas it revealed a view of a slightly opened window ready to be completely raised in the very near future. I have no doubt that the path Highland Park is currently on is breathing life of excellence and opportunity for the student's and staff.

Tonight I became immediately aware of something I have been seeing for the past number of years, and that is a taste of opportunity and challenges for the student's who are realizing their dreams that education, hard work and determination can provide. To highlight a few of these items:

• Quinlin McGregor, Class of 2013, won THREE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP titles in track and signed a letter of intent with a full-ride scholarship to Stephen F. Austin University.

• Lance Mullens, Class of 2013, was awarded the Gates Melinium Scholarship one of 1,000 awarded exceeding $50,000 for his future education. Over 58,000 applications were submitted to apply for the award.

• We are honored to have FOUR CLASS of 2013 SENIORS, Lance Mullens, William Brooks, Myles Smith & BreAnn Hobbs receive their Dual Degrees from both High School and Amarillo College within a week of each other.
• The Ag & FFA department under the direction of Mrs. Crystal Stewart has seen great successes in livestock and other affiliated competitions turning the heads of many of the schools across the state also providing for Full-Ride scholarships to some participating students.

• This week I was pleased to be contacted by the Texas A&M University System in conjunction with the Texas Education Agency requesting to host 15 of my YouTube Science videos on their PACT website to assist new teacher's across Texas with resources for lesson planning and hands on education.

There are truly too many things to recall from memory that were presented today, it was impossible get all of them down, I should have brought a note pad. It was difficult to avoid feeling the  energy in the air of the great things that are happening in Highland Park. I am so eager for the future of the students, there is truly a quickly rising feeling of internal motivation rising up in the students and staff. If Highland Park is not currently on the radar of the educational system in the state, it very quickly will be. In my past ten years of teaching, I have yet to see the energy and dedication that is rising up in our district. 

Great things are on the horizon and I am truly honored and blessed to be in such a time and place as this. The demands on education and students have never been greater, and yet we are rising quickly to meet the challenges that are presented. I believe if this generation could learn the lessons of the past in our country that perseverance, hard work, dedication, responsibility and meeting demanding challenges are embraced we are in for a new frontier of greatness to sweep our country.

What motivates the spirit within us is not the lack of our ambition or the minimal amount of effort, but rather the joy that comes with a challenge that is met with determination and sacrifice to see the efforts of  a job well done or attempted. Even in those attempted works of motivation when the expectation is not quite met and failure seems to be the outcome, we have learned from our mistakes and grown from them, this concept develops within us "wisdom". There is something about what has always made America great, and there continues to be signs in our youth and this generation that continues to give me great hope.

What an awesome night of excellence for our students and staff.

Michael Hayes


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