Archive for Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Achievements speak volumes

January 24, 2001

Monday morning, Tonganoxie High School was the place to be when Principal Mike Bogart took the microphone at an all-school assembly called to recognize recent student achievements.

First there were the band's trophies from the Cotton Bowl. Then the dance team, the cheerleaders, wrestlers, Billy Ottens, who recently learned he won $1,500 in a poetry contest and his poem will be published in a national magazine, and Megan Lawrence, for an FFA public speaking award. After that, there were the girls and boys basketball teams, and finally, the debate team's achievements and trophies.

Because of time constraints, The Mirror will wait until next week to publish photographs of students and awards from the assembly.

When the assembly came to an end, the applause faded and the students filed out of the gymnasium, the pep band played an old school tune. The words to the song: "Cheer, cheer for old Tongie High, our pep and spirit will never die" came back to me with more meaning than ever. After all these years, Ton-ganoxie's students are still doing great things and perhaps doing them even better than in years past.

Despite the fact that the district faces a continued drop in enrollment, that parts of the school buildings are said to be in need of renovation and expansion, it seems that the school district is obviously doing something very right.

There are teachers in this district who appear to be genius at motivating students, who are showing that learning can happen anywhere.

Why else would it be that a debate team that meets for class in a cramped windowless room, also known as "the cave," is the first team in the state's debate history to win first place in two-speaker and four-speaker debate in a single year what's more, that they're taking national honors.

Why is it that a band, struggling for air three years ago, brings home trophy after trophy on the state and national level. And then marches triumphantly at the Cotton Bowl.

Why is it that a wrestling team virtually unknown four years ago, is now placing in tournaments.

What was it, or who was it, that motivated a student to submit a poem in a national competition?

The basketball teams, cheerleaders, dance teams all are doing great things.

They are winners. They know it. We know it. And they'll be able to carry this positive attitude with them throughout their lives.

And, the best part about this is they're not only setting records they're setting examples.

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