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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Determination and Perseverance = Success

This afternoon our Varsity Girls Soccer team proved resilient and eventually persevered in a close 3-2 win in the opening game of the playoff campaign. The game was exciting and featured the sustained efforts of two evenly matched squads. For the impartial soccer purist, it was a well played game that would unfortunately result in overwhelming disappointment for one side. Neither team deserved to walk off the field with a loss.

In the second half, the visitors of Sharon Springs, trailing 2-1, tied the score with an excellent series of touches that produced a beautiful goal. Clearly, that score perked up the team and secured momentum in their favor. As visitors, they came from behind to knot the contest and you could almost feel the tide shifting. Following that goal, Sharon Springs pushed forward and sustained the offensive, pressing our defenders back in a defensive posture. You could sense growing concern among the crowd supporting Heatly. Suddenly, a crisp shot from an opponent clanged off the side goal post, narrowly avoiding the lead turning to Sharon Springs. It appeared the game might slip out of the grasp of the home team.
Despite that, the Hornets of Heatly were able to bend, but not break. They absorbed the well placed passes and the barrage of shots from their opponents to regain their composure and patiently look for opportunities. Their patience and perseverance paid off when a long arching shot sailed over the outstretched hands of the goalie and found the back of the net to once again provide them with a one goal margin. Their tenacity and determination accompanied them for the remaining minutes of the game, thwarting repeated scoring attempts by Sharon Springs and and rewarding Heatly with a well earned victory.

The spirit of this soccer team reflects the same commitment to success that all members of our learning community must consistently demonstrate. They displayed teamwork, exercised both communication and cooperation, maintained an orientation toward success, and executed fundamental techniques. Those same characteristics evidenced by the soccer players will serve as an example of how we can experience victory in the classroom.

Yesterday, we received notification that our most recent results on annual state mandated assessments earned us the status of School in Good Standing. This designation represents progress. We have been mired beneath the burden of being considered a School In Need of Improvement (SINI School) according to the New York State Department of Education. While the news is welcome and perhaps even reason for a bit of celebration, we must consider it only a momentary sense of relief and another step in our journey toward excellence. Our goal has been defined as meeting our full potential as individuals and collectively as an organization, not to merely perform high enough to escape the clutches of our SINI status. Just as our soccer team won the game today, if they expect to win the playoff title they need to focus on performing at their highest possible level, not just scoring one more goal than their opponent or playing well enough to win. In both instances, on the field and in the classroom, it's a cause for a pause, to catch our breath, not a reason to stop what we're doing and shoot off fireworks. If we indulge in that, we convey the message that good enough is good enough. That's not the case if you plan to win the soccer championship or expect to reach the state's highest level of being a High Achieving - Gap Closing School. In the end, Good enough falls far short of Great.

We're on our way to Broadalbin-Perth Central School this Saturday at 1:00 for the next rung of the ladder to the soccer championship. And we're on our way to reaching new heights in the quest for excellence in learning as well.

We're off!!

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