Student activity fosters positive reputation

Lauren Mitchell

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Cheerleaders show their support with #373 signs.

As summer ends and the new school year kicks off, students trade in long days by the pool for long school days and activities. Hopefully, students will walk through the doors with a new, fresh outlook, although in reality that might not be the case. A group within USD 373 is setting an example for a positive school year by creating a new focus on district pride. It seems obvious that the most senior students in the district should support this initiative by taking responsibility to foster a better reputation in our school.

In past years there have been questions raised by outside individuals about unsportsmanlike student behavior at games, possible substance abuse and a lack of cohesiveness within the student body. All of these issues have contributed to a negative perception about our school and the district as a whole. It’s time for students to step forward and show that not only are these perceptions incorrect, but that there are plenty of great things to celebrate about the school and district.

On Aug. 12, students and other community members gathered at the “Celebrate USD 373” event at the high school to welcome back and show appreciation for teachers and staff. Additionally, the district has begun using #placetobe373 on social media to shed light on positive happenings throughout Newton schools during this school year. These are good first steps toward improving the district, but the student body has a role to play as well.

It is each student’s job to help build a good reputation for the school. There are numerous ways to accomplish this. Attend sporting events and activities, but express school spirit in a way that sheds the best light on our school, staff and student body. Students should say true to who they are, whether that means resisting peer pressure to participate in substance abuse or breaking stereotypes of social cliques, push themselves to be the best they can be, seek out leadership roles, get involved, and take advantage of any unique opportunities that may come your way. And finally, all behavior should show respect towards teachers, administration and janitors. This could be as simple as throwing trash away instead of throwing it on top of locker sections. By doing these small things, students and staff alike can all come together during the 2016-2017 school year to truly make USD 373 the place to be.