To begin, I would like to thank our community for their continued support of our school district. The last few years have been different, trying, and triumphant in more than one way. I have seen our community grow together through caring for each other in multiple difficult situations. I do not know what this school holds for us. But I do know that our community will continue to support each other in being the best versions of ourselves for others in difficult times. Inevitably, time brings difficult situations. I am humbled that our school has the opportunity to move through those times with our community.
I am entering my sixth year as superintendent. Before that, I served as the high school principal for 6 years, and early in my career taught in our district for 5 years. Over that time, I have witnessed our community go above and beyond for each other and those around us. Such behavior should be commended. I am excited to see the great things that will come of our school and community while going above and beyond during the 2023-2024 school year.
In the above two paragraphs, I have highlighted the Three Pillar culture that we try to live at Patrick Henry. Those Three Pillars are Perseverance, Above and Beyond, and Family. Individually they stand for (Perseverance) being the best version of self in difficult times, (Above and Beyond) being the best version of self when no one is looking, and (Family) being the best version of self for others.
Those Three Pillars were developed by our students back in the 2018-2019 school year. That school year we lost two members of our student body. During the process of grieving those losses, some of our students branded the Three Pillars as the WensinkWay, because the Three Pillars were exemplified by the two students we lost who were brothers with the last name of Wensink. Since then, the WensinkWay has been a direct reference to our Three Pillars. Additionally, you may see our district use the hashtag PHStrong, which is also a direct reference to the Three Pillars.
My hope is that this year brings many opportunities for our staff, students, and community to exemplify the Three Pillars. Our continued desire to have common culture beliefs is a commitment to our community, past, present, and future. Also, having a culture that you try to live by gives standards for actions and decision-making. This allows decisions to be made that fall short of what would be expected, but with standards in place, we can evaluate that decision or action. Being able to do so allows a person to continue to grow as the best version of themselves.
My hope is that our school and community have a great year. It is well deserved.