A School Newspaper

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What a novel concept to call something a newspaper that appears as a computer document on a web based “newspaper” accessible from the school website. I am old enough to remember when computers were a novelty used only by aerospace engineers and as mass tabulation devices that often failed compared to the use of pencil and paper. Yet, here we are. The Golden Valley High School newspaper dubbed the “Grizzly Growler” with the editorial section being called “Growls.”

In this modern world, what sorts of “growls” we may propose offers a pantheon of possibilities.

As this is my fourth-year teaching at Golden Valley, I am going to Growl about what a great place this is to obtain an education and what a great place this is to be, and for me, to work.

Trite though it may seem, teaching here is not even like working at a job. To explain that sentiment, I will start with the students. While I am sure that someone out there can point to some random bad behavior whereof if you are the guilty party, I invite you to reconsider your life choices, but when compared to the vast number of high school students I have known, this place is blessed with a superlative group.

My students treat me with respect. They are polite to each other. The students here are focused on acts of kindness. We have a club called “Circle of Friends” wherein wondrous acts of charity are committed regularly. In fact, this school has a Week of Kindness and a Week of Welcome. What? A high school? It is nearly axiomatic that teenagers are selfish and self-centered. But, that is not the case here. I wish that the spirit of Golden Valley students would catch on nationwide, nay worldwide! Yes, I know that there are good people everywhere, but this is a special place. This is a place where we intentionally, overtly make the effort to be kind.

Freely to the students this credit must be given [this is my Yoda impersonation]. But, I must also credit the teachers. Monthly, we have staff meetings where we discuss issues at the school and where Mr. Frias usually shares an encouraging, uplifting video. These are often emotional. As I look around the room, teachers (even some of the really tough ones) have a glassy eyed, nearly tearful look about them, and some show their feelings outright with weeping. These teachers are also kind. These people care. Obviously, throughout my years in this profession, most if not all of the teachers have been deeply caring people, elsewise why would they be teaching? But, here that attitude is on another level. This is a great place to be.

One more level of care is exhibited here, well, more that, perhaps two or three levels are exhibited. All of the classified staff evince genuine concern for the students, of course, but also for each other, which is contagious. Then there are the administrators who are here early and stay until the end of activities often to the point where late becomes early. Each one has this guiding idea of doing what is best for the students.

Obviously, all of this combines like the perfect smoothie, no not a smoothie because then the uniquely individual flavors would be lost. Rather, let us call it the perfect parfait, which ironically is the same thing in two languages. This is more like a parfait or a sundae where all of the individuality is maintained while creating the perfect combination of flavors that blesses all of our lives. I hope that as you look around this campus, you see and enjoy the physical beauty of its location whether it is sunny, raining, rainbow traversed, early morning sunrisy [one of my new words – I like it], or moon shadow enhanced. I hope that you enjoy the spirit that is here – that spirit of cheering on achievement. We really want each person to succeed. We actually champion each other. I hope that you cherish this idea and are as thrilled as I am to be here.

About this, I shall sound my barbaric YAWP! About this, I shall GROWL!