Monday, November 11, 2019

Greenville Middle School is “ALL IN”! By Rhonda Schaar, GMS Principal

What does it mean to be “All In”? Greenville Middle School students can tell you and show you. Last March Gian Paul Gonzalez, a motivational speaker, came to GMS (thanks to a grant from the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County), to encourage students to be prepared for the challenges of life as well as to be “All In” and make positive life choices. Gian Paul Gonzalez is known for his chapel message to the NY Giants in 2011. After Gian Paul asked the Giants to consider if they were “All In” in their life and career many of the players took this to heart and worked at becoming the best they could be. This hard work and determination led to the Giants winning the Super Bowl that year. When he spoke to Greenville students, Gian Paul used this real life example as an opportunity to encourage Greenville students to be “All In” and to work daily at being their best.

Gian Paul’s words of encouragement resonated with the students and staff of GMS and it was agreed that this year the annual theme for GMS would be to “Be All In and Be Responsible”. This is the theme for all contents and all activities at GMS showing our motivation behind learning and becoming citizens of Darke County that make a difference. From showcase displays to class lessons and special activities the students and staff at GMS are applying this theme. The talk and walk at GMS is a climate of giving it our all every day. It’s not easy but the students and staff take each day as a new opportunity to start fresh and be “All In”.

As GMS students and staff work at being “All In” this year a few activities and opportunities have already highlighted their devotion to this mantra:

When the Fish Food Pantry reached out to GMS student leader advisors, Jeff Miller and Chad Curtis, there was not a moment of hesitation, the leaders took quick action to organize a Flash Food Drive to refill the food bank shelves. The student leaders were currently involved in other activities that took a back seat to the importance of providing for the less fortunate in our county. A Flash Food Drive is a food collection effort to raise as many donations as possible in a short time period. The week of Oct 29- Nov 1 the student leaders challenged their peers to bring in donations of nonperishable items to restock the shelves of the FISH food pantry. As an added motivation the leaders organized the drive in the form of a competition. The grade level that collects the most items of their suggested donation goods will earn a choice activity based on a grade level poll led by the Student Leaders.

Another example of GMS being “All In” is the group of students who have agreed to meet with the principals monthly to decide how GMS can continue to be “All In”. This group is called the Student Principal Advisory Council (SPAC). The SPAC group meets monthly with the middle school principals, Rhonda Schaar and Chris Mortensen. Discussions involve opportunities to make sure GMS continues to focus on being “All In” with learning and student growth. There are students from each grade that include a wide representation of the student body providing a voice for student concerns and needs. Here’s what students say about being “All In”; 5th grader Gabe, “being “All In” means to do your work and not arguing. It means when you do your work you put in a lot of effort and you come to school every day!” 6th grader, Sarah and Taylar, “it means helping out our community by picking up trash and doing what needs to be done, helping students who might be being bullied by others or not have friends and sitting by them at lunch, doing your best on your school work and just doing what needs to be done!” 7th grader, Josh stated that, “”ALL IN” is doing everything to your very best!” 8th grader, Hailey reinforced the being “All In”, “is a chance to show the best you have to give in all you do, whether its athletics, music, classes, or with your friends and family.”

Being ‘All In ‘ is a challenge that GMS students and staff have taken on this year and we plan on using this theme to make sure we make a difference, reach our goals and continue to make Darke County a great place to be!

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