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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Supporting Your School - A New Definition, A New Standard

School spirit can be measured in many different forms. Usually, when one thinks about school spirit they conjure up images of enthusiastic teens cheering on sports teams, displaying pride in their school, supporting various school events and generally spreading good will among members of the school community. However, several teenagers at the Heatly School have redefined the term and established new standards of performance levels associated with demonstrating a genuine investment in their school that goes well beyond cheering and celebrating activities.

The following high school learners generously contributed their energy and effort toward sandbagging the school on August 28th during the recent flood of the Hudson River in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

Adriana Brown 
Chiars Fedeli (a foreign exchange student from Italy who arrive only two days before the flood)
Melissa Heffern
Laura Strizzi
Elijah Legault
Nate Miller
Brittany Charette
David Gagne

They gave new meaning to the term "preparing for the opening day of school." I want to extend my personal thanks to these fine young men and women who exhibited extraordinary commitment to their school! Their sense of duty and achievement does not end at helping to preserve the school. They are all active and productive participants in school activities. I am proud to serve as their superintendent.

Here's a link to a Wall Street Journal article on the community effort. The reporter's family is from Troy and they somehow learned about our plight and contacted their son who reached us for a news story.

I apologize if I have missed any other students who were engaged in this special project. The people assembled arrived out of the blue by word of mouth or Facebook postings. The urgency of the work prevented me from taking an opportunity to make an accurate accounting of all workers. People simply showed up, asked how they could assist, rolled up their sleeves, grabbed shovels and bags and went to work. This collectively genuine act of civic responsibility and community dedication reminds me of the definition I once heard of character - "true character is revealed by what you do and how you act when nobody is looking." Once pizza was consumed after finishing the work, people departed as casually as they had arrived. They just pitched in and did was needed to be done and went off without fanfare.

Thank you!!

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