By Tami Nesting
At Sultan High School we have embraced our calling as the best school in the universe! It isn’t about boasting or bragging or even comparing ourselves to others; it’s about discovering who we are and what we do best, and focusing on it relentlessly.
You don’t have to spend much time in Sultan to realize Turk Pride runs strong in the hearts and heads of our community. Certainly if you’ve attended a football game or watched our 100+ strong marching band compete, you have experienced Turk Pride in action.
While our students and teachers continue their relentless pursuit of academic pride, the area most frequently noticed by visitors to our school is the SHS gym. Knowing that our Turk athletic programs have given us much of our heritage and tradition, our coaches, administrators, and district operations director have formed a team to do all that we can to ensure that anyone stepping into our school or gym sees an instant manifestation of Turk Pride.
We have moved the trophy cases to the foyer of the gym so that our legacy of success is prominent. Over break, the walls inside the gym were given a fresh coat of Turk Blue paint. More of this work will continue over the summer. We are working with old year books to recreate the record boards that have been lost over the years.
Our student athletes give everything of themselves and help bridge the spirit of Turk Pride between past, present and future generations. It is important that we reflect that pride in the facility where they compete.
If you would like to get involved in this activity or know of conference and state titles or outstanding individuals, please contact any of the SHS coaches or administrators. This spring we will have students involved in a contest to name our gym. Ultimately our goal is to restore our sense of history and proclaim our pride in our students and athletes to everyone who is fortunate enough to visit the best school in the universe.
As athletics have moved to the gym area, it has opened room in the foyer of the main entrance to the building, to dedicate to our outstanding visual and performing arts programs, as well as acknowledging our academic achievements.
As Turk Pride grows within our building we are also working hard to see that it continues to grow within the heads and hearts of all of our students, as well. We can only be the best school in the universe when all student and staff members believe it for themselves.
Research shows that ninth grade is the most critical year in terms of high school success and ultimately graduation. All too often students can begin to fall through the cracks, silently disconnect, and quickly become overwhelmed.
While we see these students dropping out in grades 10 and 11, it was actually the small decisions such as doing homework, regularly attending classes, getting involved in sports or a club that they made as ninth graders which determined their destiny.
At 5:30 p.m. on Feb.5, SHS administrators and counselors, along with the ninth grade Turk Tracks advisory team, will be hosting a “Commit to Graduate” ceremony in the school commons. After a guest speaker and family-included dinner, each freshman will walk across the stage to receive a certificate acknowledging their commitment to taking this walk again in June, 2017.
Students will have their picture taken wearing a graduation cap and gown with the people most important to them standing beside them in support. This photo will serve as a reminder that committing to graduation as a freshman brings all of us together again at the conclusion of their senior year.
Tami Nesting is principal of Sultan High School.