What an exciting two weeks we just had on campus! This week, we welcome parents and students to parent-teacher conferences, where we can get to know each other better and share our goals for our students and children. The week prior was Spirit Week, filled with fun activities, incredible outfits, creative accessories, campaign signs and slogans, and of course, bountiful amounts of school spirit. Mahalo to our Student Council advisors, Jessica Griffin and Kenneth Powell, along with our student leaders, for sponsoring such an entertaining week for our school community.
Students came together for group activities last Monday and Tuesday, during when we, usually, have enrichment time. On Beach Day, we had water play with several stations set-up for students to rotate through and enjoy. There were water balloons, relay races and skills challenges. On Tuesday, we enjoyed an organized game of dodgeball. It is always nice when as a community, we can join together in a shared, fun experience.
Spirit Week also made my morning greeting time even more exciting than usual. I couldn’t wait to see who was getting out of the car and what outfit they had on! Each day was wonderful but my favorite had to be, “Dress Your Best” on Thursday. It was a blast to see so many students in their stylish apparel. Please take a moment to look at the slideshow below:
“Dress Your Best” day also accompanied our annual Student Council elections. On that day, all 5th through 8th graders filed into the courtyard to listen to each of our eleven candidates give their speeches. I wish you could have seen our student candidates. Each stood up, looked out at about 150 of their peers and teachers facing them, collected their thoughts and then proceeded to deliver an eloquent, heartfelt speech. Our student body responded to each fabulous speech with active listening and robust applause. It was a great school moment.
I was quite struck by the speeches. Our faculty were available to support students in the speech writing process prior to Election Day but only in a coaching capacity. The sentiments were all the student’s. The students introduced themselves, shared their grade level and how long they’d been at Assets. The speeches were remarkably similar though, regardless of whether or not the student had been at Assets since 1st grade or new to the school this fall. What the students inevitably decided to share was some version of what Assets meant to them. Their speeches reflected aloha for their school and a desire to either give back or advance the school’s values.
For example, our newly elected student body president, Daniel M., started his speech by declaring,
“I want this year to be all about you. I want to keep you in mind and keep you as one of the key factors for what I have planned for this year.”
Daniel went on discuss that the first thing he’d like to work on for the student body is, “treating others respectfully.” Daniel even suggested we start a “Stomp Out Disrespect” campaign. I heard Daniel’s speech as an affirmation that Assets must always be a caring place where everyone’s learning style is respected, and dignity is protected.
I think the reason I was so impressed by all the speeches is because of what I believe they represent about our school community. To get up in front of over a hundred students, some of whom you don’t know and who may be older than you, is an incredible act of courage. I’m sure we all know many adults who wouldn’t be comfortable under that type of spotlight, addressing so many people. I don’t believe these young adolescents would volunteer to take such as a risk if they didn’t feel good about themselves, and safe at school. This is a testament not only to our faculty and staff, but also to the overarching kindness of the Assets student body. While we will always strive to be a more sensitive and responsive school community, the Student Council elections highlighted that many of our students feel secure and accepted.
Mahalo to all the student candidates who displayed such impressive courage and altruism in deciding to run for office. We are a healthier, stronger school because of your efforts.